How to cool down a dog?
With the arrival of high temperatures, dogs can suffer from the heat just like us. It is not a minor issue, since, if they cannot cool down, they run the risk of suffering from the dreaded heat stroke , a serious problem that arises when their body temperature rises so much as to cause irreversible damage to their body.
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1. Provide water
When we talk about refreshing a dog, surely the first thing we think of is water. But not only to soak or play: water is essential for proper hydration. All dogs must have clean and fresh water available to them 24 hours a day .
With the heat, in addition to changing it as often as necessary, we must make sure that it is never left without it, for example if we go out and it can tip over the drinker. On the other hand, if we are going to take it for a long walk, it is advisable to bring water or a portable drinker to offer it from time to time. Remember that if you are very hot, it is not good for you to ingest too much at once.
In addition, if the dog is fed with feed, it may be necessary to increase its hydration by resorting to wet food. Keep in mind that due to the heat you may eat less. It is a good idea to offer the food in the hours of less heat.
2. Give him ice cubes
Water can also be frozen to make ice cubes , which are certainly a good way to cool down a dog. We can give them to the dog directly, since that way it drinks more water, refreshes itself and entertains itself, or put them in the drinker, which will keep the water fresh for longer.
If you notice that your dog drinks little or has been diagnosed with a disease that compromises its hydration, in addition to water we can encourage it to drink more by giving it meat, fish or vegetable broths , as long as we prepare them without salt or fat. Broths can also be given in ice cubes.
3. Wet it with a damp towel
In addition to hydration, water is a great element when it comes to refreshing a dog. So, if you are wondering how to refresh a dog with water, we can wet him by passing him a towel or cloth moistened with fresh water . In general, any dog accepts this maneuver. On the other hand, direct contact with water in a bathtub, swimming pool or sea is not admitted by all specimens. You have to respect it and never force them.
Now, where to wet the dogs when it’s hot ? If you are at home and the environment is not very hot, you can moisten any part of your body. However, if you notice your dog is very hot during the walk and you want to cool him down, it is best to wet the areas with less hair , such as the head, legs, belly or groin. Especially in the hottest hours, wetting those parts with more hair can be counterproductive because a sauna effect would be generated in the animal due to the heat evaporating the water. If you don’t have a towel you can use a spray bottle or your own hands.
4. Take him for a bath
If the dog is a water lover the possibilities are endless. We can take you on excursions to places with water , such as the beach, always avoiding walks or intense physical activity in the hottest hours . Also, if you have a terrace, patio or land, he will love having his own dog pool. It does not need to be large.
A simple basin or a tub will serve to put the legs, drink and even sit or lie down. Change the water daily to prevent the proliferation of insects. Hoses and games with water jets can also be excellent options to refresh dogs without fear of water.
5. Make ice cream for dogs
Ice creams are a surefire hit in the hot season for people and dogs alike, though be prepared to mop up the floors afterward! If we don’t want to complicate ourselves, it is good if we offer them the ice or broth cubes that we have mentioned or a simple natural yogurt, without sugar, previously frozen.
But we can also make simple recipes to refresh the dog at home. The ones we prepare for people do not work, but we will have to look for them specifically for them.
6. Protect it from heat
To help them cool down it is important that we know how dogs sweat . Thus, to regulate their body temperature they do not sweat all over their bodies like we do, but basically use panting. In this way they exchange the hot air inside with that of the environment, which is cooler. But when the heat is considerable, this exchange loses efficiency. That is why to keep a dog cool in summer it is important to always offer him a sheltered and shaded place .
If the temperature that is valid for us lives inside the home, and that we achieve by lowering blinds, opening windows, airing or putting on fans or air conditioning, it will also be valid for him. But, if you are outside, it is essential that we ensure a shaded place throughout the day, such as a shed or garage.
The specimens that are in a land with vegetation and earth, it is very common for them to make a hole in the shade where they can get in and stay cool. On the other hand, consult with your veterinarian about the relevance of using sunscreen for dogs .
7. Get a refreshing dog bed
If you want to know how to cool down a dog at night, or during the hottest hours in summer, without a doubt cooling beds are an option to take into account. In the hottest moments, you will surely discover your dog sleeping, well stretched out, directly on the coldest floor of the house, such as the bathroom or kitchen. That is why it is a good option to resort to cooling beds or mats . These can be placed on the floor or on top of your usual bed, with the particularity that they keep their surface fresh.
If you don’t want to buy one of these beds but want to adapt the one you already have to make it more refreshing, it is important to bear in mind that not all fabrics are suitable for summer. Thus, the ideal is that the bed is made of breathable fabrics . Similarly, if your dog likes to have some type of blanket in his bed, he avoids thick blankets and change them for other finer fabrics, if he doesn’t care you can omit it directly.
8. Be careful with the haircut
Although at first glance it might seem that a shaved dog will be cooler, the truth is that some issues must be taken into account. Specifically, shaving is never recommended , as the hair offers the dog protection against injuries, sunburn, cold or heat. That is why shaving is limited to specific areas on which some veterinary intervention is going to be carried out or there is a wound to heal.
Regarding the cut, it is not indicated for all breeds . The inner layer that some dogs have generates an air chamber that helps them fight the heat. If we cut it, therefore, we are stripping it of its protection. For them the best thing is frequent brushing . In this way we remove dead hair, avoid knots and, ultimately, keep the hair in good condition so that it can efficiently fulfill its protective function.
In summary, clipping can be a good way to freshen up a dog if it is done correctly and when it is really necessary or can be done. Thus, if we have doubts about whether or not it is pertinent to cut our dog’s hair, it is best that we consult a professional dog groomer.