When we as humans feel too hot, we sweat almost all over the body, but dogs sweat only on areas of the body that are not covered with furs, such as noses and paws. When dogs sweat on their paws, you can see wet prints on the floor. However, this can happen even when your dog is stressed.
When the temperature increases, your dog would have to breathe more intensely to cool down. This is why dogs pant. Dogs with longer noses find it easier to cool down by panting when the temperature is hot. On the other hand, dogs with shorter nose, mouth, jaw, and a flat face (brachiocephalic shape of the skull) finds it difficult to cope with the hot weather.
Furthermore, the hair colour of dogs affects how fast they experience overheating. Dogs with dark-coloured hair, like black, would absorb more heat than dogs with light-coloured hair, like white. Therefore, dogs with dark-coloured hair experience overheating faster. However, dogs with light-coloured-coloured hair experience sunburn from excessive sunlight exposure.
The most common symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are panting, a rapid pulse, and purpled tongue(instead of dark-red). These symptoms are mostly accompanied by increased heart and blood pressure and may cause stroke or heart failure. Overheated dogs are lethargic. That is, their skins take more time than normal to come back to place when lifted.
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If your dog shows any of these symptoms, here are 12 tricks to cool down your dog in hot weather:
1. Brush hair regularly
Dead hair is removed by Brushing; it makes little air to better reach near the skin during hot weather. This would help your dog cool down. An additional advantage is that brushing the hair would keep the skin dry.
2. Give a lot of water
Drinking water in large capacity is one of the most important ways to help your dog cope with the heat during hot weather. If you live in your house with your dog and he goes out into the garden, put him at least one bowl of water outside and another in the house. Always ensure that your dog has plenty of water in hot weather. You can also put a few ice cubes in his water.
3. Block the sun during the day and open the blinds at night
Close the blinds or place thick curtains that will block the sun during the day, and open the blinds at night. This way, you will allow cold air to enter at night and prevent your home from overheating during the day. If you have windows on multiple parts of your house, open them at night to allow in fresh currents of air, and expel hot air.
4. Use less heat-generating household appliances
Another trick to make your dog cool down in hot weather is to use fewer household appliances that generate much heat, such as electrical cooking appliances.
5. Stick to shadows
If you live in an apartment with poor ventilation or that is exposed to the sun most of the day, go outside and settle in some shady park with a cool breeze. Look for areas with tall, dense trees. Bring a book for yourself. For your dog, you may bring along bones or a chew toy and spend some time relaxing in the fresh breeze. Stay away from direct sunlight, and don’t let your dog do anything strenuous.
6. Remove carpets in your house
During hot weather, you can remove most of the carpets in those places where your dog could cool down if it feels hot, such as on tiles or a wooden floor. Also, allow your dog to stay in that part of your home where it suits him.
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7. Use a wet blanket
Using a towel or shower towel that has been dampened or stayed in the freezer is a fantastic way of cooling. A sack of frozen peas can be used as an ice pack to cool the dog’s head or placed on the neck or crotch where some enormous blood vessels reside.
8. Lower your dog in water, but be wary
In the case that a pool is accessible to you, or you are close to a lake, you may presumably want to dip in with your dog. That’s a great way to cool down your dog in the summer; however, be cautious. Dipping your dog’s body too abruptly may lead to much increase in the temperature of the internal organs.
The feet of your dog helps him to regulate his body temperature. Therefore, while taking a dip, you should slowly put your dog in the water. Allow your dog to stand for some time in the cold water. As this is being done, ensure you use a thermometer to monitor his temperature. In the case that you do not have a pool, and you also do not stay close to a lake, you can make use of a small paddling pool. Your dog will be able to stand in a small paddling pool. The footpads of dogs make it possible for them to be able to cope with the heat.
9. Make homemade ice cream
To do this, you only need an ice cream mold or a container made with plastic, a small quantity of water, and some grains of feed. Mix the feed with the water, then place in a freeze. When the water has frozen, you can then give your dog the block of ice.
10. Refresh the environment
You can make use of an air conditioner or a fan to reduce the temperature of the room. It’s a great way to help your dog cool in the hot weather by creating a large flow of breeze.
11. Trim his hair
This isn’t about shaving it. If your dog has long hair, a great way to cool your dog in the hot weather is trimming his hair. When trimming, the crucial thing is to make sure that you remain about 2-3 centimeters in length since the hair serves as a protection against sunburn and heat.
12. Feed him when it’s cooler
If your dog has less appetite during the heat period, you can feed him in the hours of the day with less heat. It can be very early in the morning or late in the night.
It’s important that you know when your dog is scorching and shows indications of a looming heat stroke. If your dog gives signs of overheating, these tricks will help you to cool him down steadily. In severe cases, take your dog to your vet.
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