When temperatures climb, it is easy for dogs to get overheated. Cooling down a dog may be something you think about in the extreme heat of summer, but it's important first-aid information to have on hand all year long. Knowing how to cool a dog down could come in handy if you're traveling to a warmer climate or your dog gets overheated inside while doing activities in the winter months.
Did you know that it's possible for your dog to get heat stroke? Knowing how to cool a dog down could actually save your pets life!
Before I talk about my 6 go-to ways to cool dog a dog, it’s important that you know the signs that your dog is overheating. Things to look for include:
- excessive panting
- bright red gums
- slowed response time
- rapid heart rate
When your dog is overheated, his body temperature will be above 103˚ Fahrenheit. When your dog’s body temperature rises to 106˚ Fahrenheit or higher, he is at serious risk of suffering a heat stroke.
A drastic increase in body temperature puts a strain on your pet’s bodily systems as they fight to cool themselves down. Like overheating, heatstroke taxes your dog’s body. However, it stresses the body to a point where the organs are at substantial risk of shutting down completely.
Learning how to cool a dog down is an important part of the necessary first-aid knowledge that every pet owner should have. These tips will help you cool your dog down in a safe and efficient manner.
How To Cool A Dog Down
One of the easiest ways to cool your dog when he's overheated is to take a towel and soak it in cool water. Place the wet towel on your dog’s underbelly and try to cover his inner thighs to speed up the cooling by cooling his femoral artery.
Use a thin towel to prevent it from holding in your dog's body heat. Keep two towels on hand so that as one warms up, you can switch it out for the cool towel.
2. Shower in Tepid Water
If your dog is still able to stand/walk, you can put him in the shower. Use the shower head to spray tepid water over your dog's entire body or use a cup to pour water over him.
Do NOT use cold water, because it can shock your dog's system and cause more serious health issues. If you're outside and near a fresh water source, you can give your pup a bath in a lake, river or stream.
3. Cooler Environment
Obviously moving your dog to a cooler environment is one of the best ways to bring his body temperature down quickly. If you're outside in the heat, bring your dog inside to a cooler environment. If possible, lay him on flooring that is cool, like tile, linoleum or wood flooring.
If you have a basement or a cellar, bring your dog down there and let him lay on the cool concrete. If you have access to an air conditioned space, bring your dog there. Don't allow him to lay directly in front of the air conditioner, as that could cool his body down to quickly.
4. Use a Fan or Portable Air Conditioner
Creating a breeze using a fan helps to move air in the room and bring down the overall temperature. Don't point the fan directly at his face or he may end up swallowing excess air as he pants. While it's rare, this could lead to dangerous health complications.
If you have access to a portable AC unit, bring it into the room where your dog is laying. Keep the door closed to help bring the temperature of the room down faster. You could also put a block of ice in front of a fan to create a DIY portable air conditioner.
5. Frozen Treats
Serving your dog a frozen treat is one of the easiest ways to cool him down. They’re easy and affordable to make. If you’re looking for a homemade option, take a look at some of my recipes, like this one or this one.
6. Cooling Vests
Prevention is the always the best medicine, and cooling vests are an easy way to prevent overheating in dogs. Cooling vests are made of three layers – outer layers made of cloth material and an inner layer that uses water stored in a reservoir to keep Fido’s body cool.
These vests also work to bring down your dog’s body temperature by reflecting heat while promoting evaporation. Dog cooling vests are a great option for preventing overheating because they can be rewetted while you’re out so that they can provide longer acting cooling effects.
That wraps up my list of the 6 most effective ways on how to cool a dog down. Just remember that your dog can go from overheated to in jeopardy of a heat stroke within just a few minutes. You need to act fast to keep your pup cool when the mercury rises.
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