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
That's exactly what our Lab does. We live on a stream. When he gets hot in the summer, he takes himself on a trip to the stream. He stands in the water up to his belly until he's cooled off.
I hate the Dog Whisperer, but we won't get into that! LOL But he is right on this issue. Cooling their feet and bellies is the quickest way to cool them off. Unfortunately not all dogs enjoy standing in water like that. I know mine don't. I have dachshunds (both are black and tan so they absorb that sunshine) and when they come in overheated I spray them down with cool water, making sure to get their bellies and chests, legs, underside of the paws, armpits, and under their necks. Then I spray the tops of their heads, and the underside and topside of their ears.
After all that, I take a couple of wash cloths and wet them, wringing only to the point of not dripping anymore, then I drape the cloths over the dogs as they lay on the kitchen floor. One I make sure is covering their chests and the other covers the tops of their heads. They aren't happy about all this but within 5 minutes they are cooled off enough that they can get up and play again inside.
During the summer heat my dogs don't spend a lot of time outside tho. They stay inside most of the time with the a/c on. During the day they only go out long enough to do their business. Once the sun starts going down I let them go out and spend some time outside. That and first thing in the morning before it gets real hot.
I have seen dogs do this countless times-- in lakes, streams, and kids paddling pools. They always look ridiculously happy when standing in the water as well.
I have 4 dogs. 2 Labs who love to swim and 2 beagle mixes that don't like to swim. But, when it's hot and they are out on our 50 acres for a walk, they ALL go in the creek and belly the water.
Dogs know what to do if they have the resources. Otherwise, they are all indoor dogs with a dog door and can go in and out of the fenced yard 24/7 and into the air conditioned home or a warm home in the winter.
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