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How to Help Your Dog During the Summer

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Dogs don’t sweat the way humans do. In fact, they’re only able to sweat through their paw pads. Their only other method of expelling heat from their body is through the heavy breathing we call panting. Summer might be a fun time to go outdoors and bond with your dog, but there are also a few risks such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, ear infections, and potential sunburn or skin infections that come with the hot weather.

Can Dogs Drink Cold Water in Summer?

It seems to make a lot of sense to give your furry companion an ice-cold drink in the summer heat. But can it be dangerous to provide ice water to an overheated dog? Rumors are circulating that lead people to believe giving your dog cold water in extreme heat can cause a life-threatening condition known as bloat. Fortunately, this is not true. Bloat is caused by the build-up of food or gas in the stomach, most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dog breeds. Your dog won’t suffer from having ice water on a hot day. Some vets even recommend freezing toys or treats to give your dog something cool to chew on while adding a bit of hydration.

Do Fans Keep Dogs Cool?

A basic fan typically does not have any kind of air conditioning feature, meaning it operates merely by giving us a wind-chill effect by moving air past us quickly. The fast-moving air evaporates any small sweat particles on your skin, drawing out some heat and causing your body to feel cooler. When the fan speed increases, the rate at which your sweat evaporates also increases, so you may feel even cooler. The problem with this process is we already know that dogs don’t sweat the way humans do. The lack of evaporation occurring on their skin means your dog will likely just feel some wind as opposed to a decreased temperature.

Does Getting a Dog Wet Cool Them Down?

Getting a dog wet is an excellent way to cool them down. This works due to the evaporation mechanics discussed earlier. Getting your dog wet is a great way to encourage evaporation off of the skin and fur, which should draw out some heat. Some people will get a towel wet and lay it atop their dog. This helps cool them off, but only while the towel is cold. Once you notice the damp towel has become warm, it will begin to have the opposite effect, trapping the heat instead of releasing it.

Is It Cruel to Keep a Dog Outside?

During moderate temperatures, it’s not cruel to keep your dog outdoors. However, dogs are very social creatures and may enjoy spending time with their family and owners much more than being outdoors in isolation. With extremely cold temperatures, Maltipoos and other small dogs are actually more at risk since they have less muscle layer and more skin surface in ratio to their body volume. Still, when it comes to extreme heat, all dogs of all sizes should be given a shelter or other form of cooling once temperatures reach 75°F or hotter. If there’s no option to cool your dog, it’s best to bring them indoors to avoid heatstroke.

What Temperature is Too Hot for Dogs?

General caution should be taken when weather temperatures reach above 75°F. However, after temperatures reach 80°F with 90% humidity, your dog will be at a high risk of heatstroke. If your pet appears to be dangerously hot, taking their internal body temperature will quickly indicate whether there is a problem or not. A dog’s average body temperature should range from about 101°F to 102.5°F but should never exceed 104°F, or serious damage could occur to the brain or other internal organs.

Following these tips and guidelines should give you the tools you need to help your dog during summer. We all know what fun it can be to get back outdoors after a long winter, but don’t forget to protect your dog and help him when he needs you most!

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