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10 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Heat: A Pawsome Guide for Australian Summers

by | 24 November 2023

Hello, sun worshippers and furry friends! As the mercury rises and Australia’s beaches beckon, it’s time to think about keeping your beloved pooch cool in the sizzling summer heat. Picture this: blue skies, golden sands, and your dog, tail wagging with joy. But wait, before we let the dogs out, remember that keeping them cool isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity!

You see, dogs aren’t like us humans—they can’t just sweat out the heat. Their main cooling mechanisms are panting, chilling on cool surfaces, and sipping on cool water. With the sun blazing and humidity soaring, our four-legged friends need our help more than ever to stay cool and comfortable. It’s a hot topic, and we’re not just barking about it!

From ensuring a shady oasis to whipping up some pet-friendly popsicles, this guide will be your go-to for keeping your dog chill when the heat is on. We’ve dug up all the best tips and tricks to ensure your pup stays as cool as a cucumber, even on the hottest Aussie days. So let’s unleash these cool ideas and make sure your dog’s summer is as enjoyable as it is safe!

Tips to Beat the Heat with Your Pooch

Provide a Cool Hangout

Picture of a dog house with shaded area in front of it
Manor Deluxe Wooden Dog Kennel from My Dog Supplies

Outdoor Oasis: If your dog loves the great outdoors, ensure they have a shady retreat. An outdoor doghouse or a cool spot under a tree can be a real lifesaver. Outfitting these spots with cooling tiles or mats? Now that’s an idea worth fetching! 

Maybe even create your own dog house so your furry friend has a spot to chill in the garden:

Indoor Chill Zone: Inside, fans aren’t just for humans. Watch your furry friend become a fan fanatic as they enjoy a cool breeze. Remember, a cool dog is a happy dog!

Add Cooling Accessories

Picture of a Cooling Gel Dog Mat
Cooling Gel Dog Mat from PaWz

Chill in Style: Dog cooling mats and vests are the latest rave in pupper fashion and function. These nifty gadgets help cool down your dog when panting just doesn’t cut it. And don’t forget doggy booties—they protect those precious paws from scorching pavements. 

Picture of @lordbensonofsydney from Instagram wearing a bandana
@lordbensonofsydney wearing a bandana from Pablo and Co

Wet Bandana: A simple, wet bandana can be a cool accessory for your pup. It’s like a mini air-conditioner on the go!

Frozen Treats

Pupsicle, Anyone?: What’s better than a frozen treat on a hot day? A dog-friendly popsicle! Whip up some canine-safe ice treats to keep your pup both occupied and cool. Get creative and try out different flavours—just make sure they’re doggy diet-friendly. 

Cooling Toys: Stuff a treat toy with frozen goodies and watch your dog have a blast while chilling out. It’s a game, it’s a treat, it’s a summer must-have!

Water, Water Everywhere!

Picture of a dog bowl that can be frozen
Dog bowl that can be frozen from Pet Obsessed

Hydration Station: Fresh, cool water is a must. Throw in some ice cubes for that extra chill factor, and maybe set up multiple water stations just in case one gets toppled over in excitement. Or even look at an ice water dog bowl to keep things cool as long as possible. 

Portable Pooch Hydration: Don’t forget to bring water on your walks and excursions. A portable doggy water bottle and bowl are essential for keeping your canine companion hydrated on the go.

Beach and Pool Time

Picture of the Instagram comment where 4 Paws Sake suggested a paddling pool to keep your dog cool

Swimming Fun: If you have a pool, your dog might enjoy a dip—but safety first! Make sure it’s fenced and supervised. Alternatively, a dog-friendly paddling pool can be a splash hit. Thank you @4PetsSake for the tip. 

Sandy Paws and Salty Tails: Heading to the beach? It’s a great way for your dog to cool down, but remember to pick the cooler times of the day and keep an eye out for hot sand.

Check out our dog beach day checklist for what to pack when you are going to the beach with your furry friend. 

Keep it Shady

Sunscreen for Pooches: Yes, dogs can get sunburned too, especially those with light fur. Dog-friendly sunscreen can be a game-changer for those sunny adventures. 

Create Shaded Areas: Whether it’s a canopy, umbrella, or tree, make sure your dog has access to shade whenever they’re outdoors. It’s a simple yet effective way to beat the heat.

Early Morning or Late Evening Walkies

Beat the Heat: The best times for walks are during the cooler parts of the day. Early morning or late evening strolls are ideal to avoid the intense midday sun. In mid-summer, the evenings can be very hot, so early morning walks as the sun rises are advised. And remember your compostable dog poop bags when you are heading out for a walk.  

Grass Over Pavement: Opt for walks on grass rather than hot concrete or pavement. Remember, if it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pup’s paws!

Watch Out for Overheating

Heatstroke Alert: Keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke in dogs, like excessive panting, red or purple gums, and general

distress. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, it’s time to cool down and possibly seek veterinary care. 

Breeds at Risk: Brachycephalic breeds, like bulldogs and pugs, are more susceptible to heat stress. Their short airways make it harder for them to cool down, so extra care is needed for these short-nosed sweeties.

Never Leave Dogs in Cars

A Recipe for Disaster: Leaving dogs in cars, even for a short period, can be deadly, especially during the Australian summer. The temperature inside a car can skyrocket, reaching dangerous levels far quicker than many people realise.

  • Rapid Temperature Rise: On a mild day of just 23°C, the temperature inside a car can soar to a lethal 43°C in just half an hour.
  • A Matter of Minutes: Imagine a warm 32°C day – it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of a car to hit that critical 43°C mark.
  • Scorching Situations: In more extreme heat, say 35°C, your car can become an oven at a staggering 54°C within 30 minutes.
  • Critical Threshold: At 40°C, dogs lose their ability to regulate their body temperature. This can quickly lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal.
  • ‘Not Long’ is Too Long: The phrase ‘not long’ can mean the difference between life and death. Heatstroke can occur in moments, and its effects can be devastating and irreversible.

In short, no amount of time is safe for leaving a dog in a car during warm weather. Always err on the side of caution and either take your dog with you when you leave the car or leave them at home in a cool, safe environment. Remember, cracking the windows open does little to decrease the temperature inside a car. The risk is never worth it, and the consequences can be tragic. Keep your furry friends safe and avoid turning your car into a danger zone for them.

Sprinkler Fun and Grooming

Water Play: A run through the sprinkler can be an exhilarating way for your dog to cool down. Plus, it’s a great photo op! 

Picture of a dog being brushed at home
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev

Stay Groomed: Regular grooming helps your dog shed excess fur, making it easier for them to stay cool. Brushing also helps increase circulation, which aids in temperature regulation.

How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Heat FAQs

How to Identify Heatstroke in Dogs

Recognising the Red Flags: Heatstroke in dogs can be serious and sometimes fatal. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Purple Gums or Red Skin: An early sign of overheating.
  • Collapse: If your dog suddenly collapses, it’s a clear sign of heatstroke.
  • Diarrhoea and Vomiting: Digestive upset can be a symptom of overheating.
  • Excessive Panting: More than the usual panting post-exercise could signal trouble.
  • Dribbling: Unusual drooling can be a sign of heat distress.

How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs?

Temperature Tolerance: Dogs can start to experience heat stress at temperatures as low as 20°C (68°F), especially if they’re not used to it. As a general rule, if it’s too hot for you to stay comfortable outside, it’s too hot for your dog.

Dogs and Sunburn

Canine Sun Care: Dogs, especially those with short or light-coloured fur, can get sunburned. Use dog-specific sunscreen on their nose, ears, and any other exposed areas. Keep them out of direct sunlight during peak sun hours.

Bugs and Snakes: Summer Hazards

Pesky Pests and Slithery Snakes:

  • Fleas and Ticks: These parasites thrive in hot weather. Keep up with regular flea and tick treatments.
  • Bees and Wasps: Curious dogs may get stung. Keep an eye out and know how to treat a sting.
  • Snakes: Be vigilant on walks. If you suspect a snake bite, seek veterinary help immediately.

Conclusion: Keeping Cool is a Breeze

Summing Up the Cool Canine Tips

And there you have it—a comprehensive guide on how to keep your dog cool in the Aussie heat. Remember, a cool dog is a happy dog, and with these tips, you’re all set to make your dog’s summer safe, enjoyable, and chill.

Next Steps: Embrace the Heat with a Cool Mindset

Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to tackle the summer heat head-on. So go ahead, plan that beach day or backyard barbecue, and rest assured that your furry friend will stay cool and comfortable.

Share Your Cool Dog Stories!

We’d love to hear how you and your pup beat the heat! Share your stories, tips, or adorable summer dog pics in the comments below or on social media. Let’s spread the word on keeping our dogs cool because when it comes to our furry friends, the cooler, the better!

<a href="" target="_self">Henry Reith</a>

Henry Reith

Henry is proud to be one of the crapologists at Oh Crap, and specialises in crap jokes & sharing paw-some content.

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