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Blog of the Week: Hot Days Of Summer

Hot Days Of Summer

Spring and summer typically are the times most people are active with their dogs. Unfortunately it is also the hottest times of the year, so let’s explore some different ways to help keep our pooches cool while we have some summer fun.


  • Observe your dog; The easiest way to tell if your dog is getting over heated is to watch for certain signs. A fully extended tongue (a third longer then what’s normal) is a sign that your dog is not dissipating enough heat. If the saliva on your dog’s tongue is thick and congealed then that’s a sign that they are getting dehydrated. Another sign to look for is lethargy, if they do appear abnormally lethargic then bring them into a cool place immediately. If your dog exhibits signs of confusion then I would advise taking them to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Some ideas to prevent overheating; Take breaks in the shade, if no shade is available then use your body’s shadow to create a shady spot for your dog. Keep them hydrated but prevent them from gorging on water as that could cause them to vomit, dehydrating themselves more. One of the quickest way to cool your dog off besides giving them a drink is to dip their paws in water or better yet dipping their paws in rubbing alcohol. Also you can wet their fur down with cool water, as it evaporates it will cool your dog down. It may be a good idea to slowly condition your canine to the heat by increasing the time spent outside over a period of weeks. These are some low tech solutions but there are lots of high tech gear (like vests with a built in cooling system) that you can purchase to help keep your dog cool in the hot summer heat.

Practice these bullet points so that they becomes routine. With time, being mindful of the heat gets easier and easier without dampening your fun. Keep in mind that some dogs breeds are better at dealing with the heat then others. Brachycephalic dogs (dogs with short noses), and dog breeds that originated from northern climates tend to have a harder time dealing with the summer heat. German Shepherds, Malinois, and most dog breeds originating from hot or desert climes tend to be better at handling the heat. So have fun this summer but remember that we humans are better at handling heat then dogs are.

– Josh Decker, Dog Trainer

Article written by Josh Decker

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Matthew Duffy is well known for his renowned dog training services, books and DVDs, and online video training sessions through memberships. Matthew uses "genuine control without the rigidity of formal commands." Bring on the dogs!
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