Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe in Extreme Heat Without Using AC

Keep Your Dog Cool and Safe in Extreme Heat Without Using AC

Summer is kicking off, and while we all love soaking up the sun, there’s only so much heat we can handle. Imagine being without a working air conditioner at home – yikes! 

It can get pretty unbearable. When the power goes out, it’s tough on both us and our dogs. 

Do you know what to do then? Well, don’t worry…

To help you out, here are some easy and practical tips to keep both you and your furry friend cool and safe when the temperature skyrockets.

Most Dogs Aren’t Built for Heat

Most dog breeds are built to keep heat in rather than let it out. Unlike us, dogs don’t have sweat glands all over their bodies, and they’re covered in fur with very little exposed skin. This means they mainly lose heat through the pads of their feet and by panting.

Sunscreen is a must for all dogs, but some breeds need extra attention in the sun. For instance, white or fine-coated breeds like Bull Terriers and Greyhounds are especially prone to sunburn. On the other hand, dogs with black coats, like Schipperkes, absorb more heat, making them more likely to overheat and suffer from heatstroke.

So, if you’ve got a sun-loving pooch, be sure to keep an eye on them and take extra steps to protect them from the harsh rays and scorching temperatures!

Keep Water Available

Keeping your dog hydrated is super important. Make sure they always have fresh, cool water to drink. If you have a freezer, try making cold treats like frozen chew toys or dog-safe ice pops. These can help keep your dog cool and give them a nice break from the heat.

How to Help a Dog Cool Down

Along with plenty of cool water, keeping your dog indoors or in the shade is crucial. If your air conditioning goes out on an extra-hot day and you can't get it back on, go to the coolest area of the house, such as the basement. If possible, stay at a friend’s house until your air conditioning is restored.

Here are some additional ways to help your dog cool down:

  • Battery-operated fan: A portable fan can provide much-needed airflow to help cool your dog.
  • Cool cloths: Use chamois cloths like those used to dry cars. Moisten the cloth and place it on your dog’s back. Avoid making it too wet; the goal is to cool, not drench.
  • Cooling vest: These vests deflect heat and cool the dog through evaporation.
  • Cooling crate pad or wet towel: Provide a cool surface for your dog to lie on or stand on. This helps their paw pads release heat.
  • Rubbing alcohol: Dab it behind your dog’s ears, on their stomach, or on their paws. Rubbing alcohol cools faster than water and can draw out heat.
  • Spray bottle with cool water: Spray the underside of your dog’s body, the bottoms of their feet, and inside their mouth. Focus on areas not exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Rectal thermometer: Monitor your dog’s temperature to ensure it doesn't rise above 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Unflavored pediatric electrolyte solution: This can help if your dog gets dehydrated.

Signs of Heatstroke

Despite your best efforts, your dog could still develop heatstroke. Here are the symptoms to watch for:

  • Unusual breathing (rapid and loud)
  • High rectal temperature (103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Skin around the muzzle or neck doesn’t snap back when pinched (dehydration)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Thick saliva
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy drooling
  • Agitation

If you suspect your dog is overheating, immediately move them to a cooler area or take them to the vet. Once in a cool room, separate their fur with your fingers to allow cool air to penetrate their skin.

To cool your dog down quickly, pour cool water over their head and body, gently hose them with a gentle stream of cool water, or, if possible, submerge them in a tub of cool water.

Even if your dog seems stable, it's a good idea to take them to the nearest vet for evaluation and treatment if necessary.

This summer, keep your dog cool and comfortable with Joyride Harness's new mesh harness. Designed to provide maximum airflow and comfort, this harness is perfect for hot weather. Don't let the heat slow your pup down – try our new mesh harness today and make your summer walks enjoyable for your furry friend! Visit our website to learn more and make your purchase.

By taking these steps and being proactive, you can ensure that both you and your dog stay safe and cool during the hottest months of the year.

Source: American Kennel Club
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