Knowing how to keep your dog cool in the hot summer months is essential for all dog owners. The most important thing to remember is that your dog feels the heat much more than you do so if you are hot, sticky and sweaty, imagine how your dog must feel. With a thick fur coat, some dogs even have two layers of fur, you can imagine how a dog finds keeping cool tricky.
As a human, taking of a layer of clothing, having a cold drink and sweating are all efficient ways of cooling off. We have sweat glands that help regulate our temperature by bringing warm moisture to the surface of the skin, which causes cooling as the water evaporates. Because sweat glands are located all over the human body, cooling takes place over a greater surface area of the skin than it does in dogs.
Unfortunately, dogs only have very few sweat glands, most of which are located in the pads on their paws. Dogs cool themselves by panting and breathing, with the moist lining of their lungs serving as the evaporative surface. Dogs also dissipate heat by dilating (expanding) blood vessels in the face and ears. Dilating blood vessels helps cool the dogs blood by causing it to flow closer to the surface of the skin.
To keep you dog cool in summer, try to avoid taking your dog on walks in the middle of the day when the sun is strongest. Instead, go out for a nice walk early in the morning and in the evening after the sun has gone down when it will be much cooler for your dog. Don’t encourage exercise or initiate a rough play session during the day. Allow your dog to relax in the shade (or indoors) with plenty of fresh water nearby and a fan to circulate the air.
Out friends at theuncommondog.com have designed this fabulous infographic which highlights the importance of keeping you dog cool in summer and ways in which you can achieve this.