By Cesar Millan
Happy summer to all my fans in the Northern Hemisphere! The season officially began on Friday, although my pack astronomer tells me it began late Thursday night in Los Angeles. In LA it’s hard to tell, though, because it seems like summer never ends here.
In any case, it’s time to get out there with your dogs for some fun in the sun, but I have some very important things to tell you so you can be properly prepared for the season.
I also decided to tell you in a very special way, so I’ve gathered Junior, Loretta and the rest of the pack at the Dog Psychology Center to show you how to make sure that your dog doesn’t get overheated as you head outside.
I explain how dogs deal with heat, why you shouldn’t overlook their paws, how to figure out if your dog is too hot and, finally, how to cool down an overheated dog — and how not to.
You’ll also get to see us go on a pack run and then a swim, and I’ll have more hot weather tips for you throughout the summer.
Stay calm and assertive, and thanks for watching!
How To Tell If Your Dog is Overheated
In general, your dog will let you know they’re getting too hot by whining and panting. They may also drool excessively, or start to shake from the combination of heat exhaustion and dehydration.
In worst-case scenarios, your dog could even suffer an episode of heat stroke. Here are some side effects to be on the lookout for this summer.
If your dog is panting excessively you should take them back inside to cool off and give them some water. Knowing when a dog is too hot can be difficult, but if the panting is uncontrollable for them it may be a sure sign.
Excessive drooling is also a sign of heat exhaustion. You know your dog best and if they are showing signs like this it’s time to take them inside or apply ice packs on their body to help cool them down.
Another sign that your dog is feeling the heat and may be approaching a state of heat exhaustion is a fast heart rate.
If you notice this, take them inside immediately to cool down as it could lead to heat stroke and strain on their heart.
If your dog is breathing rapidly, they are also likely to be panting. They may appear restless or just nervous in general and it’s a sign that their body temperature has risen significantly.
If your dog is vomiting or having diarrhea, you should take them to the veterinarian immediately.
This could be a serious side effect of heat exhaustion and could lead to future complications for your pet.
How Do Dogs Cool Themselves Off?
Dogs have a way of cooling themselves down by sweating through their paws. If a dog does not have any sweat glands on their body, they will pant to cool down which is an effective process for them.
These sweat glands act as a moistening agent for the paw pads, which then helps them to release heat through their feet. This is why kiddie pools and shallow areas of water are perfect for your dog to most efficiently cool off!
For Our Pets
We are all aware that our dogs love to play outside in the summertime and we should do everything in our power to ensure that they stay safe while doing so.
This includes being sure that you provide ample amounts of water for them while outside which helps keep them hydrated and healthy. Also, providing ice packs or new cold water bowls throughout the day that will help cool them down as they play and drink.
Best Ways You Can Cool Down an Overheated Dog
As the heat of summer draws near, I am reminded that it is time to prepare for my dog’s safety. As a pet parent, this means preparing for hot weather and most importantly, making sure they have plenty of water.
Water and Ice
- Offer an ice pack or wet towel to lay on.
- Add ice cubes to their water.
- Offer access to a wading pool with shallow, cool water.
TIP: Don’t pour water directly on top of your dog. This holds the heat in their body and doesn’t allow them to cool off.
- Offer access to cool shade with a tarp, tent, or sun shade.
- Avoid walking on hot pavement and
- Don’t let them in the sun for long periods of time
Serious Side Effects
If your dog begins to show signs of heat stroke with side effects such as:
- Raised temperature (101.5° is normal)
- Fatigue or Collapsing
- Muscle Tremors
Get your dog inside and contact your local vet immediately!
Wrap your dog in cold wet towels or apply a cool compress to hot and inflamed areas. A fan may be used for a breeze during the cooling process, but should not be blown directly on the dog.
Your pup can’t stay out in the sun too long or he will overheat and become dehydrated – but with our help you can avoid these risks!
Which Dog Breeds Are Best in Hot Weather?
Some dog breeds are better equipped than others to spend time outside in the sun. Although any dogs can become overheated and dehydrated, some require even more concern than others during the summer.
Generally speaking, dogs that have these features usually do better in warm weather.
- Short Coat/Fur
- Single Coat/Thin Fun
- Long Nose
- Big Ears
- Small Body Size
Also, keep in mind the region that their breed is initially from. This could be a good sign to tell what weather they are naturally accustomed to.
Top 5 Dog Breeds For Warm Weather
- Basenji – Originating from Africa, these dogs were bred to hunt in the heat and humidity. They have a short coat and long ears helping them keep a cool breeze.
- Dalmatian – Besides being the dog that fights fires, Dalmatians were first built to run miles at a time and naturally adapted to fight overheating. With a short fur, long nose, and lanky build they are some of the best in the warmer temperatures.
- German Shorthaired Pointer – With so much energy and originating from warmer states , German Shorthaired Pointers are dogs that need a lot of running room and tend to do better with long times outside in the sun.
- Doberman – A protection dog that can easily be trained. Although normally have a dark coat, Dobermans have one of the best build for the warm weather and will continue to be attentive and loyal to their owners no matter what.
- Afghan Hound – Originating for the extreme climate of Afghanistan, these dogs do very well in hot and cold weather, despite having a long flowing coat.
No matter the breed of your dog, monitor them closely on hot days! Dogs are a part of the family, and we want to keep them happy and healthy. It is important to make sure that you pick the best breed for your weather and for your family.
With your help and supervision, you should have no problem keeping your dog cool in the summer.
Summer is a time to take precautions for dogs in the heat.
There are many signs that your dog may be overheating such as excessive drooling, fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, dry mouth or vomiting/diarrhea – all of which should not be taken lightly.
The best thing you can do is make sure they have plenty of water and your attention.
We all love our pets and would hate for them to have heat stroke in the summertime!
For more info on keeping your dog cool during the summer, watch my video featuring my own dogs.