Cooling Options For Dogs – Hot Days!

Temps in Vehicles

The weather in most places has been hot to say the least.  Many people are posting that they’re leaving their dogs at home during the recent heat waves in so many places.  And, while leaving your dogs at home is smart, they still need exercise to keep them from chewing up your house.  So, there are some cooling options for dogs during these hot days ahead!

Now, I get leaving dogs at home when you’re shopping.  Whatever you do, don’t leave them in the car while you’re away for any period of time.  In fact, I leave my car running if I’m running into a store and my dogs are with me.  However, I set a timer on my phone for 25 minutes which is when the car will auto shut-off.  Cars get especially hot during hot days.  It’s important to know how hot they can get!  Homes, in Alaska without AC, also get hot when it reaches the 70’s up here.

But, if you’re taking your dogs on a walk, why not try a cooling vest for them?  If it’s hot in your house, a cooling mat for their kennel?

Temperatures Soar in Vehicles.

First, let us talk about leaving your dogs in the car for a moment.  If it’s a hot day outside, then your dogs shouldn’t be left in the car unless you have the AC blowing for them.  I saw a post the other day about a man that broke a window to save a dog from the heat in the car.  Cars overheat very quickly in the heat of the day.

Temps in VehiclesIn fact, if it’s 70 degrees outside, within 10 mins your inside vehicle temperature will be 89 degrees and within 30 minutes it would be 104 degrees.

For the very hot states, when it’s 90 degrees outside, inside your vehicle will be 109 degrees within 10 minutes and 124 degrees within 30 minutes.

Leaving the windows open won’t help either.  First, your dog wouldn’t have access to fresh water.  Nor would they have access to shade if the sun is shining in your car.

So, unless you know for a fact that you can leave your AC running the entire time, yes, leave your dogs at home.

Even Homes Can Be Hot.

Now, I say leave your dogs at home, but if you don’t have AC, even there it can be too hot.  What I’ve learned to do, is have a small kiddy pool full of cold water for my dogs on hot days.  Yes, if you leave it outside, you’ll need to dump it daily and refill it with cool water.  But, it helps for them to know they have a place they can go to cool down.

However, if you’ve confined your dog to a kennel, be sure that the kennel doesn’t get too hot for them either.  And especially don’t leave them outside on very hot days unless they have access to cool, fresh water, shade and a place to even stay cool.

Some states right now are getting near 100 degrees or hotter.  In these kinds of climates, dogs need a way to cool off.  Most places have AC in this kind of heat, but be sure that your dogs are kept where it’s cool.  Imagine if you were stuck outside in an area that gets 100 degrees with a fur coat on.  You’d be very hot within minutes.  That’s how your dog feels.

There are some ways to help keep them cool, even in the kennel though.

Cooling Options for Dogs – A Cooling Kennel Mat?

I found a mat that you can use in the dogs kennel that keeps them cool.  It works by weight and the gel inside keeps your dogs cooler than the room temperature.  There’s no water needed inside this

Cooling Mat for Dogs
Cooling Mat $10.19

mat, you simply lay it out and the dog can stay cool by simply laying on it.

Now, if I lived in a very hot area, then I would fold this up and place it in my fridge or freezer for only 20 minutes to get it more cool.  The gel inside, while it stays cool naturally, in very hot areas, that might not be enough.  In Alaska, we rarely get to the 80 degree temperatures.  However, these last couple of days we did.  We reached a high of 80 degrees for 3 days in a row.  This might not seem like much, but in Alaska, homes don’t have AC.  So, it’s sweltering in our homes.

My dogs needed a cooling mat to lay on.  But, I didn’t know they existed until today.  I will be purchasing one for next year, since our heat wave is over for the year.  August it rains all month and temperatures are typically back in the high 60’s.  Next year, we’ll see the same for at least a few days though in the summer, and these mats will help my poor dogs that were miserable in the heat.

For those that take their dogs for walks in this heat, there’s also cooling vests.

Cooling Options for Dogs – The Cooling Vest.

Cooling Vest for Dogs
Cooling Vest $14.99

The cooling vest is also a must have if you’re taking your dogs outside during heat waves.  This vest, once wet, will slowly keep your dog cool by keeping them slightly wet.  Not damp wet, they don’t like that too much.  But, more like a misting of water on their fur.  It works the same way sweat does for humans.

When we sweat, the moisture on our skin will allow for the slightest breeze to help keep us cool, even on what seems like a no wind kind of day.  See, dogs sweat through their tongue, not their skin.  So, they can’t cool off easily just by sweating.  Their tongues will salivate more, and become thicker to allow for cool air to get to their blood.  But on super hot days, this doesn’t always work for them.  They are, after all, wearing fur coats.

The vest does need to be watered down in order for it to work.  So best to have some extra water on hand when they’re wearing this, in case you need to re-wet it.  However, it definitely works, so even just having them wear this during a walk would help.

Please note – the concrete temperatures in hot weather are extremely hot!  If your dog isn’t wearing booties, walk barefoot yourself on the concrete first.  If you can’t handle it, they can’t either.  Best to stick to grass in these types of weather conditions.

Final Words on Cooling Options for Dogs.

Summer in many places is looming around the corner, especially for us in Alaska.  But, because we may still see some hotter days, be sure to have a plan in mind for your dogs during these temperatures.  For my dogs especially, they’re not made for hot weather.  Short, bulky bodies make for very hot dogs when it’s even 75 degrees outside.

Watch your dogs during these hot days and see how they act during this.  Do they pant constantly?  Dig in the dirt in the backyard?  Attempt to get under your deck?  Telltale signs will let you know how your dogs feel when it’s especially warm out.  I kept a close eye on mine, and made sure their water bowl was always fresh and cool.  I even put ice cubes in there when they seemed warmer than usual.  They even got ice cubes as treats, and that seemed to help cool them off as well.

During these temperatures, I didn’t have them outside on their own.  They had access to being inside, but even inside, it was warm for them.  Misting them down helped, and having fresh water.  Whatever you do, don’t ignore the signs that your dog is overheating.  Be sure to get them as cool as possible.

What other ways do you keep your dogs cool during hot days?  Any special items you use that helps?

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10 thoughts on “Cooling Options For Dogs – Hot Days!

  1. This heatwave has been terrible! It made me cranky and lazy and I felt bad for not doing as much work as I usually do. Sometimes the air felt as if it came out of a hot hair dryer. I filled a kiddie pool with water for my dogs to cool down and they’ve been using it. One day I also put some ice in their water. and I also hose them down with cool water, they are ok with that, and when I’m done they always jump around, feeling completely refreshed.
    The cooling mat and vest are great ideas, something I could really use for my dogs. I may order them for this summer.

    1. Christine,

      I can’t imagine the heat you guys must have so far down south. We’re supposed to move in 2 years, but I’m worried about my dogs when I do. The heat up here, at only 81 was really making them hot, imagine down there! With the humidity too. I’m buying both of these items next year myself, for the next heat wave, but that won’t be until next summer. But at least I’ll have them for when I move.

      I worry about Muse the most though. She’s terrified of water for some reason, and I have no idea why. She won’t even go on the back deck anymore to go to the bathroom, on their potty area I made for them. We were spraying the deck off when it was super hot, and my hubby sprayed the dogs, and now she’s terrified of going outside. It’s weird. She had gone to the bathroom several times in the last few days, and I couldn’t figure it out until I tried to take her out on the deck and she started shaking like crazy, and jumping up on me with her crazy eyes she gets. Poor thing.

      So, now I just put her on a leash and take her downstairs. Hopefully, I can get her from being terrified again soon, and rebuild her confidence. I’ve never seen a dog so afraid of water though.

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you liked these ones. They help, that’s for sure.

      Katrina

      1. Maybe someone did something to her that made her afraid of water before you adopted her. My new dog, Duke, was afraid of the shovel, broom, mop, and the water hose. He would run off, terrified, and his tail between his legs, when I got close with any of those things. Now he has learned that he’s safe around me and I can carry them without him running away. I can also water the plants now and he remains lying where he is.
        With this heat, though, I tried hosing him down. First I did it with my other dogs who are used to it. I hoped that by showing that it was ok with them he would realize that it was not such a terrible thing; but with Duke I had to go slowly, speak to him in a soothing voice, praise him, I gave him a treat as well, it’s a process.
        That’s why I think that Muse must have had a scary experience with water or a water hose.

        1. That’s what I’m thinking too. I tried again today, taking her to the deck, but she just dropped to the floor, terrified, giving me her wide eyes with the whites showing. Poor babe. So, I grabbed the long leash and took her down again. It’s weird that she goes right out downstairs, but not on the deck. I’m so confused! I’m guessing it’s the water, but I also hope that my kids didn’t hurt her somehow while she was outside on the deck. My youngest has an issue with hurting animals sometimes. Not on purpose, but she just doesn’t watch what she’s doing. When my male Chihuahua was young, she accidentally closed his tail in the kennel door and broke it. He was terrified of the kennel for the longest time after that.

          I’ll have to ask her when she’s home next week. If nothing, then it had to be the hose that my husband was using. Only thing is, I’ve used it before to water the plants and she didn’t mind. She ran for her life inside of course, but she came out after I was done. Maybe it was him spraying her? All I know is I’ll have to keep working with her to get her back out there. It’s just hard with Atlas always trying to bull her way in to see what’s going on, and that’s when I’m afraid something will happen while she’s scared on a leash.

          Thanks for stopping by and reading this one! Glad you were able to get your boy to be okay with the stuff he was afraid of! It takes work and patience, that’s for sure.

          Katrina

  2. Hi Katrina,

    Cooling mate and vest seem a nice choice for dogs living in hotter places. Putting them in the fridge before using them is clever too. I lived in the desert in the past, and it was impossible to find a cooler place for dogs. My partner and I decided to train our dog how to swim. By learning to swim, our dog could cool herself down and exercise enough for the day. So, it’s kind of like a stone kills two birds scenario. And, she loved it.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    1. Matt,

      That’s good! Mine can’t swim unfortunately. Their bulky bodies and muscle structure makes them sink. Almost every Pocket Bully needs a life vest to swim, and I have 2. We were supposed to take them to the lake this summer on the boat, but we never did. Ended up being too busy with things. But, I’ll have these two items for next year when we get another heat wave. Every summer we do now. So at least I’ll be prepared next summer.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this article! Thanks for stopping by!

      Katrina

  3. Hi Katrina – This was a really timely article! Even where I live (North Dakota) it’s been unusually hot and even muggy, which is a terrible combination. We have a 10 month old pup who is all black and while we try to bring him out to play fetch everyday, the sessions tend to be shorter. I wasn’t aware of the cooling mat or vest either, but they seem very practical. We do have AC in our place, which has been great. We also have hardwood floors, which our dog tends to lay out on to try and stay cool. Thankfully he’s a big fan of chewing ice cubes and recently learned how to swim! But thank you for sharing your knowledge and providing a couple of really great options to help keep our dogs comfortable. Hopefully we’ll get a break from this heat soon!

    1. Hi Dereck,

      Hopefully it will cool off for you and your pup as well. I know that in most states, August can be the worst month, but soon after it cools. It’s good that you have wood floors – I do too and my dogs love laying on them when it’s too hot out. We also have additional fans that sit on the floor and I’ll turn those on when needed.

      From the sounds of it, sounds like your pup is in a pretty good place with the AC and wood. Most homes in AK don’t have AC, so we suffer when it’s in the high 70’s. Doesn’t seem like much when you face the 90’s in other places, but the Sun is very close to the Earth in the summer, so the heat feels different up here for us.

      Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you enjoyed this article.

      Katrina

  4. The cooling vest is a very good invention and i am pretty sure the dogs love it. Sometimes dogs do get hot and honestly i have not really though about keeping dogs cool in warm weather, probably because I do not own a dog.

    I think i like the cooling vest best because it can be worn anywhere especially when walks around.
    I see dogs swimming in little pools and i think that’s a brilliant idea too. Others to stand under showers or their owners hose them down for a while which must feel good and i am sure these dogs must love them.

    Great and informative article. I love it
    Thank you

    1. Hi Femi,

      Yes, if you don’t own a dog, it can seem odd that we go to such extremes to keep them cool. However, since dogs aren’t always able to cool themselves off in certain situations, it’s important for us as their owners to be sure they have a way to stay cool. During these hot months, our dogs can really suffer quickly, especially dogs with certain kinds of coats. I know my short haired dogs, because of their builds get hot quickly. They tend to overheat even in 70 degree weather.

      But, thanks for stopping by nonetheless.

      Katrina

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