Tips for Keeping your Senior Dog Cool this Summer!
- Ice packs! Fill any water bottle with water and freeze it. Wrap the frozen water bottle in a towel and use them in various locations to help keep your senior dog cool, such as their bed or for them to lie against outside on the grass.
- Ice cubes! We love a cold drink with ice, so does your senior dog. Make ice cubes and add them to their water dish. Speaking of water dishes, use a ceramic bowl as they help keep the water cooler longer.
- Get a doggy pool! An inexpensive children’s pool can be a fun way to keep them cool on those hot days.
- Have fun with the garden hose! Some senior dogs love to be sprayed or to jump through sprinklers, however, use caution if your dog likes to drink the water from the hose or sprinkler as they can get water toxicity just like humans. If they do want to drink excessively turn it off and find something else or just spray their bodies down.
- Avoid the midday heat! Take your senior dog out for their walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening after the hottest part of the day. If walking on concrete or asphalt, check the temperature with a bare foot or hand, if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog.
- No hot cars! Never take a chance in warm weather by leaving your senior dog in a hot car, it does not take long for a dog to overheat and start to feel the effects of heat stroke. Know the signs of heat stroke, such as, excessive panting, drooling, vomiting, a dog looking anxious or in discomfort even seizures are all obvious signs of heat stroke.
- Shade! If your senior dog must be outside during the day make sure they have shady areas for them to seek refuge from the hot summer sun.
- Grooming! If your dog has long hair or is a non-shedding breed, keep their coat short in the summer to keep them cooler. If you have a dog with a thick coat, make sure to brush them regularly which helps remove the dead fur which gets trapped in their coat and adds more insulation keeping them warmer.
Emily Charlton is a lifelong animal lover drawing on more than 12 years experience in a veterinary clinic.