Our Labrador Lola is a sun worshipper. I have never seen a dog quite like her. She will find any patch of sun and lay on her back with legs in the air sun bathing. In hot weather this isn’t ideal and we have to make sure she doesn’t sneak outside for some sun worshipping. There are plenty of ways to keep your dog cool in hot weather and it’s important to keep your dog safe and happy whatever the temperature.
Dogs have a small amount of sweat glands but they are in their paws and ear canals. A dog’s coat is designed to keep them cool in the hot weather and warm in the cold weather, however with sudden changes in weather, a dog can’t adjust like humans can.
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Using water to keep your dog cool in hot weather can be used in many ways. Lola loves to splash in the river and we often make sure her walks on the hotter days involve the river as well to keep her cool.
It’s important not to go out for walks during the hottest part of the day. If the pavement is too hot for your bare feet then it’s too hot for dogs paws. We tend to walk Lola early in the morning and then again in the evening during the hotter days.
Whilst using the river is a great idea, make sure to towel dry your dog afterwards as excess water can be heavy and weigh a dog down, especially if they’ve got a long coat.
It goes without saying that dogs need fresh water to keep themselves hydrated. I don’t know about your dog, but Lola prefers to drink from a plastic bowl or bucket to a stainless steel one. Each dog has their preferences, likes and dislikes, so we always make sure there is a bucket of water by the front door, by the back door, and also a smaller bowl next to her food bowl.
If we’re out and about for a walk, we always take a collapsible water bowl and some water in the car.
A wet towel is a great idea to keep your dog cool, especially if you’re at home. Damp the towel with cold water and lay it somewhere for your dog to lay on. This can help cool them down if they’re hot and panting a lot.
There are some handy tips using ice to keep your dog cool in hot weather, many we have discovered recently and work really well for us.
We freeze an old milk bottle full of water and wrap it in a towel. This is then placed in her crate in a corner. When it gets too hot for Lola we often find her in her crate which she somehow finds quite cool anyway with her head resting on the towel for a little white.
Ice cubes in the water bowl is also a good way to keep the drinking water cool and more inviting. Lola especially is fussy with her water when it’s not cool and fresh.
We also like to freeze water and banana inside Lola’s kong. This is a great treat for her to try to get the banana from the kong, and in the process she is also staying cool with the frozen treats.
Shade is very important for dogs. If we’re sitting in the garden and Lola wants to be near us as our pets often do, we will make sure she’s sitting in the shade if she’s with us. Under the table in the garden is a good place as she then thinks she may get any dropped tip bits from our meal if we’re eating outside.
If we’re out for the day and have Lola with us as long as it’s not too hot out there, we will take our respite under a tree to enjoy the shade.
Your dog will be spending a lot of the time during hot weather inside the house, but its important to remember that actually the house can be too hot for your dog as well sometimes. Never leave your dog in the conservatory if you’re going out as this can be just as dangerous as leaving a dog in the car.
We have found our hallway is a nice cool place for Lola to enjoy. We often find her laid out after a walk or on a hot day in the hallway. Despite it having carpet, she seems to find this the best place for her. Each house is obviously different and you’ll find the best place for your own house for your dog to stay cool.