Keeping your hound cool and comfortable on hot summer days is just as important as applying sunscreen and staying hydrated is for humans!
Dogs sweat differently to humans, relying on panting and other behaviors to keep cool. Unfortunately, when high temperatures strike, these doggie cooling methods are ineffective (need a helping paw) to prevent heatstroke, which can be fatal if left untreated.
What Dogs Are More At Risk of Heatstroke?
Dogs more prone to heatstroke include elderly dogs, brachycephalic breeds (breeds with short snouts such as Bulldogs or Pugs), obese dogs, and those with medical conditions like heart or respiratory disease.
Signs of Heatstroke in Dogs
- Heavy panting
- Drooling excessively
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Weakness or collapsing
- Elevated body temperature (over 104°F)
- Dark red gums
How to Help a Hound with Heatstroke
It can be frightening to see your furry friend struggling with the horrible effects of heatstroke; here are some things pet parents can do to help the situation.
- If you suspect your hound has heatstroke, always call your vet for advice.
- Lay your hound on a cool surface – a tiled bathroom/ kitchen floor is best.
- Offer small laps of water regularly.
- Gently sponge your hound down, focusing on their neck, tummy, and thighs.
- Once your hound is wet, place them in front of a fan or in an air-conditioned room or vehicle; this will help them cool down faster.
Tips for Keeping a Hound Cool
When Walking on Hot Summer Days
Schedule your hound adventures for early morning or late evening to avoid the heat.
On hot days, remember that the pavement can heat up as much as 20°F hotter than the air temperature. Shorten your walks or stick to grassy areas instead of asphalt when possible.
Always carry water and a lightweight or collapsible water bowl for your hound to drink from.
Consider using a leash attached to a walking harness to prevent pulling on their collar, which can restrict their airways and prevent them from cooling down properly. Having the right dog walking supplies on hand also ensures you and your hound can chill when taking a walk on a hot summer day!
On Long Car Journeys
If you plan long car journeys with your pet during the summer, never leave them unattended, even if the windows are cracked open. On hot days, the temperature inside a car can become extremely high in minutes which can be deadly for your dog.
Always carry essential dog accessories including water for your hound and allow them regular access to a quick slurp along the way!
Avoid hitting the road during the hottest part of the day (midday).
When traveling carry a sufficient supply of dog accessories and ensure the places you visit are dog friendly so your furry friend can go inside with you.
When driving, keep the windows open or have the AC on.
Provide plenty of shade from direct sunlight to help keep your pet cool. If you don't have a shaded area outdoors, consider setting up an umbrella or canopy.
Fans can help move indoor air and create a cooler environment for your dog.
Add ice cubes to your hound's water bowl and allow them to chew on a frozen chew toy; yum! Hound-popsicle anyone?
Damp towels are great for hot hounds to relax on!
At the Beach
While the beach is a great place for humans looking to enjoy the sea and sun, it isn't always the best place for our furry friends.
Early morning or late evening are perfect times to hit the beach with your hound, as this is when it's cooler, and the sand is less likely to roast sensitive paws!
Always carry plenty of fresh water and a bowl so they have access to water to remain hydrated.
Allow them to splash in the sea to cool off.
Set up a sunshade or beach umbrella so your hound can access shade if needed.
Ideal Pet Products for Keeping a Hound Cool
Planning is key when it comes to protecting your pup against extreme temperatures - during a heat wave:
Consider canceling outdoor activities such as walks or rescheduling them to early or late evening hours.
Stock up on dog accessories like cooling mats and vests, which can help reduce a hound's body temperature if they become overheated.
Use damp towels to create a cool hound space to relax.
Keeping your dog cool in hot weather is essential to ensure a happy and healthy, heatstroke-free hound all summer long!