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Keeping Your Dog Safe in Hot Weather

Category Health
A dog drinking water on a hot day.
Hot weather can really stress your dog's health, if they don't have good ways to cool off. This guide is about keeping your dog safe in hot weather.
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By 5 found this helpful
June 29, 2010

During the summer, I fill a stainless steel dog dish with water and freeze it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, I turn it over and the ice slides out into my dog's water dish, keeping their water cold for a few hours.

By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL

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June 22, 2011

My service dog is a Shih Tzu. I try not to take him out in the heat, but when I do I put him on my lap to keep him off the hot ground. I wrap a cloth around a cold gel pack for him to lay on and help him to stay cool. Also, I have a umbrella on my power chair that is actually for a beach chair. Off we go and we both stay cool.

In cold weather, I use a heated gel pack and he wears a jacket, or I use a small blanket to keep him warm.

Bubba loves going bye-bye. When the ground isn't hot he walks beside my chair. He really likes it when we go fast, as I can't run with him as I'd like to. He gets his exercise and considers it play time when I'm on the sidewalk, and he can run beside me on the grass.

Bubba alerts me when I can't hear something. Not long ago he woke me up growling at 2:00 AM. I looked toward the window and there was a shadow. I'm sure whoever it was heard him growling and didn't stay around. After a while, Bubba laid back down beside me and finally went back to sleep.

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BTW, I use the gel packs for myself when in pain, so they really are used often.

By Southern Grammy from Mobile, AL

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May 18, 2009

I was watching the Dog Whisperer and he said if a dog gets overheated in the summer, the best way to cool him off is get them to stand in water up to their bellies. Dogs will cool off faster this way rather than spraying them with water on their backs.

Source: The Dog Whisperer

By PICO from ST Paul, Alberta

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By 2 found this helpful
August 3, 2009

Living in Florida, the heat is horrible for my outdoor pets. I bought a cheap kiddy, outdoor pool, and put in the back yard in the sun. When my pup gets hot, he dives in, and plays with his toys in the pool. He stays cool at the same time.

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By sharonross0624 from FL

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By 4 found this helpful
September 6, 2011

This tip works for both dogs and cats, although cats aren't as happy about it.

When the temperatures rise as they have this summer, keep some wet bandanas in the freezer. When the temps start to soar, tie one around the neck of your pet. If it's a large dog, you may have to tie two or three together in order to fit around its neck. Replace no less than every hour. Although in this heat they shouldn't be out there that long to begin with.

What I do with my dogs is: as soon as they come in, I tie one around their necks. By the time it's thawed out, they are cooled off.

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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By 8 found this helpful
July 30, 2010

Hot weather can really stress your pet's health. I have three inside dogs and have found that even with air conditioning a pet can be uncomfortable. Many problems can arise from the heat and humidity so here is what I have found over the years of pet ownership that keep my pets happy, healthy, and my wallet healthy too!
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I change my pets water twice a day. I also have a 3.5 gallon gravity fed watering bowl for them. One of the best things I have found to help my pets stay healthy in this weather is to take several used bottled water bottles and fill them with tap water. I then place them in the freezer and each time I change my pets water, I place a frozen bottled water in the bowl of fresh water. This allows the fresh water I have set out to stay cool longer. I just keep extras in the freezer and change them out each day. I have also frozen used butter tubs and made big "ice cubes" in the bowl of water.

I like to give my pets healthy treats as well. I try to use all of our leftovers for either my husband and I or the pets. If I have lean meat left over, I will cut it up in small pieces and put them in a zip lock bag. I then label the bag and place it in the deep freezer. This gives my pets a nice treat from time to time w/o costing me a lot. In freezing the meats, I have them available for however long it takes to use them up and it also takes them longer to chew the treat up.

Often I find old fleece throws that I use for my pets bedding. I take one throw and cut it into four nice ones. I get more mileage from the one throw by cutting it up that way.

Fleas can be a major problem in heat and humidity. I know that many people don't have the time to do this as often as I do, but I bathe my dogs at least once a week in this hot weather. It makes them more comfortable and fleas are not a problem for them. I use the cheap blue Dawn dish detergent every other wash. This will kill fleas and my Yorkie's hair tends to be a little greasy. It works great on his hair. Sometimes after I have taken my bath I will pop my little dogs in the left over water and give them a quick bath. Then I towel dry them well and let them air dry. I only use a hair dryer in the winter months. I always use a little cream rinse on them so that they do not have tangles when they dry, then I brush them out later. I use baby shampoo in between the Dawn baths. I have used vinegar to rinse the dogs too. I keep the water tepid in temperature during the bath and remember, always wash the head and face last. This is when they want to "shake" the water off. Be gentle around the eyes and mouth. No need to be rough in this area and the dog will enjoy the bath much more. I was afraid to cut my Yorkie's hair for years. However, I live in the country and just hate to pay $30 to have him shaved down each summer. It really stressed him out too. A few months ago I found dog clippers on sale for $15. I bought them and figured if I clip my Yorkie's hair down and he looked like a "refugee", what did it matter? As long as he is cool and he is a good boy about getting his hair cut by his mommy it's all good! It has been a learning curve for me and him! The nice thing is that I can cut him as needed a little at a time and I am getting better at it over time. I can also clean my other long haired little girl's "privates" as needed too! So my $15 investment has more than paid off.

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I cannot clip my own dog's nails and have tried for the longest time to do so. I should have started years ago doing them when they were puppies but did not. So I have found a nail clinic that is held each month by the local humane society. They will do it for a donation and I take the "babies" to it every few months. This cost me about $20 and I am more than happy to make the donation! I have a designated room for my babies and I keep it mopped and bedding changed every day. I know that many don't think they have the time to do this, but I find it much easier to keep the room clean and fresh smelling by attending to it every day.

The very best advice I can give someone that wants to have a dog or cat is only get one you can take care of. Don't get a large pet if you don't have the adequate room and time to devote to the pet's care. I have three dogs that I have the time and room for and I would not take anything for any of them! Good luck!

By honeypie from Calhoun, KY

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By 2 found this helpful
July 20, 2006

Walking Dogs and Cats on Hot Pavement. My tip is for the concern of walking you dog/cat. Living here in Nevada, the heat can be extreme and also the sidewalks. Take care that your pet doesn't get heat exhaustion, too. . .

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September 17, 20071 found this helpful

I freeze two plastic cups 8 oz. or 16 oz. for my dog's water bowl for cool water all day long. Every night, I fix the cups so they freeze by the next day.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 19, 2014

As the weather warms up, pet owners need to be aware of the potential hazards to their pets, both as a result of poisoning and the weather itself.

Keeping Your Pets Safe as the Days Get Hotter - dog drinking from water bottle

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By 0 found this helpful
July 20, 2008

Whee! Have a hot dog or children? Start the sprinkler and add dog or kids the combination can be magical and super entertaining to observe and it's cheap!

Dog playing in sprinkler.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 24, 20060 found this helpful

Does anyone know about a water bowl for dogs that keeps the water cold? There just has to be such a thing, especially for us Southern people!

Suzi from Central TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 25, 20060 found this helpful

Hi - I don't know about a dog dish that will keep the water cold - we usually freeze the water so that the water is pretty cold most of the day as it melts ...I use the two bowl system - one in the freezer at all times then swap them over when the other one has melted and the water is getting warm. I wash the bowl and refresh the water each time

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 25, 20060 found this helpful

You can sometimes buy insulated bowls, but the water will still only stay cold for just so long. I recommend that you freeze large blocks of ice and put into their water or else just take it out and let it melt. They will love it! My collie loves to "fish" for ice cubes in her water. She will stick her whole long nose in, clear up to her eyes to get one!

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 26, 20060 found this helpful

I've seen them at Tuesday Morning, if you have one near you. I've seen them at more than one store, 3 different states. Anyway, you know the mugs you can buy that have that gel stuff in it that you put in the freezer and it keeps your beverages cold? Same thing except that the get stuff is keeping the bowl clean. When I saw it, I thought it was about time someone came up with something like that.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 26, 20060 found this helpful

I am thinking that crockery (mostly unglazed) would permit water evaporation and possibly keep water at less than boiling hot. You might have to experiment.

Would it be healthy to drink from this? I don't know.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 28, 20060 found this helpful

So I take it your dogs are outside like ours are. (2 of them) :)

We went on vacation for 10 days and because we live out in the country and are fairly new to our community we didn't have anyone house sit everyday for us. (Our Son came out 2-wice to check on the property and dogs)

Anyhow... we have an auto dog feeder we bought at Wal-Mart a few years ago, we fill it up about every 2 weeks and it holds 30lbs of food.

As for the water, we bought an auto dog spicket <sp>

that you hook up to the outside water spicket. We bought that one at Home Depot. The dogs can water themselves! But while we were on vacation we 'jerry rigged' the dog waterer to drip into a bird bath layed flat on the ground. The water stayed cold because of the constant dripping. (It is still being used this way since it is so hot outside).

You can ask any sales associate at a hardware store or Pet store and they will know exactly what you are talking about.

P.S. The dogs are not in the heat all day... we have a swamp cooler in the garage and the dogs stay in there or go swimming in the pool!!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 11, 20060 found this helpful

Consider getting a water feature.I'm not sure what it is made of, cement or something similar. (Very heavy) Since we put our water feature on the porch, my dogs prefer drinking from it, rather than their water bowls. Even if it is not switched on, the water stays cool.

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Anonymous
August 13, 20060 found this helpful

I'm sure if you search the Internet you can find such an item. I live in Central Florida and although my three dogs live indoors, I keep cold water in their stainless steel bowls at all times. The tap water is hot when it comes out and I know I wouldn't want to drink it! I believe dogs prefer cold water to tepid.

Good luck on your search.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 13, 20070 found this helpful

hi. this is jamar. we are in the middle of creating a water bowl that keep the water cold. if you have any questions, contact my partner at: ret_mccarthy at yahoo dot com

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 13, 20080 found this helpful

We have a prototype and a prevent pat. will be on market soon.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 1, 20090 found this helpful

Hey guys. Check out CoolLap.net. Cool Lap is a collapsible dog bowl that keeps the water colder longer. I bought one for my dogs and it works great.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 26, 2007

Any ideas on what works as a cool mat/surface for them? I have been pondering this problem for a while now. We have four dogs and the carpeted floors get quite hot in the summer. They love the slippery sleeping bags to lay on in the colder months...

Thank you... Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Christie from Vincentown, NJ

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 27, 20070 found this helpful

Bare floor or low-pile area rug on the north, shady side of living room. Turn floor fan on low and aim from across the room. I know it's time to turn on the window air conditioner when the dog sits right in front of the fan.

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May 27, 20070 found this helpful

If you have a purely carpeted house then you could make them a nice cool spot. Get some scrap linoleum or laminate wooden flooring, build a base with plywood (not really thick just something for stability) and lay it somewhere out of the sun, near a fan or A/C vent. Then when it's summer you can either add some blankets on it with a doggy bed or two, or store it for the winter.

Hope that helps.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 31, 20070 found this helpful

I just use old sheets for my dogs in the summer. The carpet gets too hot and they lay on the kitchen floor. But they are allowed on the furniture and in the winter I keep a blanket on the couch. In the summer I put the sheet on it and they stay nice and cool.

They also appreciate ice cubes being added to their water on really hot days.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 31, 20070 found this helpful

If you can afford it, I have seen "cool beds" for dogs sold in pet catalogs such as Drs. Foster and Smith and PetSmart. God bless you and thank you for caring about your animals!

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 2, 20070 found this helpful

I wonder if a couple of ceramic tiles placed in a certain spot ... would be cooler for them to rest on...?

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 25, 20080 found this helpful

My black lab loves laying on my bathroom floor. It is much cooler than the rugs and she sleeps better.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 18, 20090 found this helpful

I just want to remind all dog owners that they should have water and shelter available to their pets outside. Even if you are just letting your pet out for a while on a nice sunny day, they need a bowl of water and a sheltered spot to get out of the sun. A shady spot is especially important for dogs with a dark coat. Even if you think it is cool enough out, the direct sun can be very harmful to a dog if he/she is exposed for some time. Lola, our brindle boxer, gets so hot in the sun! Thankfully, we have plenty of trees to give her shade.

By Carrie N from Okemos, MI

Answers:

Pet Care in Hot Weather

I won't let my pups out from noon until 5 as I am afraid their feet will burn on the pavement.

During the summer, my dog walkers come around 11 instead of 1, take a short walk and then spend the rest of the my allotted time indoors with them.

Jennifer
Northern Virginia

(07/12/2006)

By ILuvDobes

Pet Care in Hot Weather

To those of you with dogs that you have chained outside, please bring your dog inside to be part of your family, or seek a more appropriate/humane home for your dog.

Thanks for the excellent tip, Carrie. It's definitely worth providing an extra measure of care for your pets during these hot months.

Thanks,
Christy
(07/12/2006)

By cdavis0627

Pet Care in Hot Weather

I have a way of testing whether to put my dogs in the car. I go out and sit in it with the windows rolled up all the way. If I can't stay there COMFORTABLY for at least 15 minutes, then I know it's not safe for my pets.

They NEVER go with me in the summer, or in the winter because of the heat/cold. If we go on a trip in these seasons (or any other time) I never leave them in the car while I go in to eat or anything. If I have to stop to use the restroom, I pull into a trucker's weigh scale and leave the car running with the a/c on and the doors locked. I have never been turned down to use the restroom real quick when I explain I'm traveling alone with pets. (04/27/2009)

By Cricketnc

Pet Care in Hot Weather

Did you know? Some shelters have bumper stickers in their offices that are usually free, to put on the windshield of cars with pets in them, stating that someone is calling the police to notify them of your car and pet. I always take a handful of them and leave a donation, and put them on cars I see with animals inside. I even broke a window once, where a cat was inside with NO windows open, and it was unconscious. I got the cat out and walked out along the beach until I found the owner. I wasn't very popular, but I was really angry, so the point got across. Anyway, check your local shelter and see if they have any resources like I mentioned above. I am rather passionate about animals. Good luck. (04/28/2009)

By MS.Scarlett

Pet Care in Hot Weather

What do you actually do if you see a pooch/critter inside a vehicle in visible distress? Sure, call 911; on the other hand, how long would they take to get there? Or, would that be a low on the priority list as calls go? Baltimore, Maryland (04/28/2009)

By ExtremeFrugalist

Pet Care in Hot Weather

Thanks, Christy! I feel the same about dogs being chained. I live next door to one that whines, wants to be with it's people. So sad. In Washington state, a bill is being proposed to outlaw a dog being chained up 24 hours a day. I hope it passes and more states adopt a similar code. If people don't want a loving companion, really a member of the family, they shouldn't get a dog. (04/29/2009)

By ginnee

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