Overheating Dogs - Create Dog Popsicles - Really!

The heat affects animals in different ways. Some lean breeds have little problems with the extra warmth if allowed to get out of the sun! Always use caution with elderly and very young animals who have a harder time regulating their body temperatures. A young puppy’s world is a toy and they get up in the morning thinking of playing! Puppies under 1 year can get so excited with attention that you need to force them to “cool off” between play times. Some breeds require extra caution in the summer months. Examples are the "pushed-in" nose dogs (Brachycelphalic), such as Pugs or breeds who can't pant effectively in the heat. Overweight dogs and dogs with extra skin, like SharPeis, require additional vigilance in hot weather.

Beating the Heat:

Beating the heat is not an easy one for your pet. Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat. They get rid of the heat through their mouth and lips by basically “sweating through their mouth” when they pant. They release heat through their pads, so taking them to the county fair or outside market when temperatures are on the rise is asking for issues.
  • Cool grass will remove heat from a dog, but concrete or gravel will add to the issue! When temps are high, leave your pet home where they can get out of the sun!
  • Feed animals in the evening when temp’s drop! If they are a twice a day feeder, feed ¼ of the diet in the AM and ¾ of the diet in the PM. Low Fat/Protein diets are not only good for the waste, but it creates less heat in digestion than high fat high protein diets do.
  • Make Popsicles to control heat! Use Pfizer RE-SORB® electrolytes in one gallon of water and add 1 tsp of beef/chicken bouillon. Freeze in ice cube trays and give to your pets as treats. That will keep them cool! Use them outside if your pet is not use to ice cubes or they will make a mess trying to figure out the “eating technique” the first time. Dogs get rid of heat through their mouths so this works great. Freeze large dog popsicles in Dixie cups. Cheap and effective cooling!
  • When using one pack of RE-SORB® electrolytes and one gallon of the water you are basically making “Dog Gatorade”.

Outside Dog – Caution:

Be sure the pet can get out of the sun – this is #1.
  • If you don’t have shade -- create it! Using sun screening over the kennel is easy. Use the same stuff used by Greenhouses or livestock and fasten with “Zip Ties” to the top of the kennel. You can use chain link top rails for support if needed, but most will not need it. Temps can be 5-7º F cooler under the shade.
  • Misters are available at hardware stores. To make them easy, put two on an 8’ PVC pipe with an end hose attachment. Zip tie it to any structure in the yard or the kennel. Ace Hardware’s are great help and the Misters lower temp of the kennel 10 º F without creating mud!
  • Misting hoses also work. Keep hoses high on the outside of the fencing and under the shade netting, attach with zip ties for easy removal – instant relief! Turn on in the heat of the day for several hours or use a timer on your faucet that runs the mister 15 minutes each hour.
  • We all use cool fresh water and electrolytes, but ice chunks will cool the core body temp when your pet replaces panting fluid loss. One cup-size chunk will last through the heat of the day in a stainless water bucket.

Jogging dogs:

You will read don’t jog with your pet in summer, but that is not correct! Our advice is if you are having issues staying comfortable while exercising - both of you should stay home!
  • Canine Backpacks – These are light, nylon, and hold 2 water bottles half frozen, carried in the pockets.
      They are simple saddles with balanced pockets on either side. Often used in young dogs to carry water in summer and bricks the rest of the year. They wear the dog out in half the miles and give the teenager something to concentrate on when training “Putting them to work”. If you don’t understand you never owned a lab less than 2 years of age!
  • Collapsible Bowls are a must if you take your dog with you. Community water has more bugs than you want to expose your pet to -- use his own bowl. It also fits in the back pack.
  • Take a small amount of cool water and pour it over the back pack to aid cooling.
Hot weather is hard on everyone. Help your dog tolerate the heat – Make Popsicles! It’s easy and your dog will love the cool treat!

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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