With the sweltering heat sweeping America this summer, we’re looking for the best dog-cooling bandanas (not to mention cooling dog beds, collars, and vests) to add to our NOW cart. After all, if it’s too hot outside to make you feel uncomfortable, you can bet it’s too hot for your dog too. But before we get to the most effective items we found in our search, here’s something else you need to know about caring for your puppy in hot weather.
Why is it important to take extra steps to keep dogs cool?
“It can be hard to realize at first that your dog is overheating,” Jenna D. Mills, DVM, MPH, FFCP, medical director of VCA Animal Hospital in Garden City, tells SELF. “Dogs love being around us and are less likely to complain or give notices even when it’s too hot, so it’s important for us to be the ones who think about the weather.” She explains that when the temperature hits 75 degrees Fahrenheit, you Should start thinking about adjusting the plan. Even if it’s not very hot, the temperature can be harmful to your dog. Dr. Mills adds that you should also take into account ground temperatures, especially if you’re walking on sidewalks, for your dog’s paws. “This doesn’t mean fast travel is going to be dangerous, but as temperatures rise, outdoor time should decrease and travel should always be supervised,” she said.
What are the common signs of overheating in dogs – when should you seek medical attention?
The most common symptoms of overheating include panting or shortness of breath, excessive drooling, sticky gums, unsteady walking, vomiting, weakness and collapse, Dr. Mills told us. Dr. Mills explained that overheating can lead to heat stroke within minutes — when a dog’s internal temperature becomes dangerously high — so it’s important to watch for these symptoms.
“If your dog is showing signs of heat stroke, it is critical to seek immediate medical attention and can Save lives,” Dr Mills said. Even if you’re not sure if they’re actually suffering from heat stroke, but they’re showing some signs of overheating, there’s no harm in going to your local emergency veterinary hospital anyway, she added.
What can help a dog cool down in the heat?
“Proactively avoiding situations where the dog is at risk of overheating is the safest approach,” explains Dr. Mills. Specifically, she recommends sticking to shade when outdoors, providing plenty of water, and going outside during cooler times of the day. If you think your dog is overheating, take them to a cooler area and pour cool running water over them . You don’t want to shock their system, so avoid icy water, says Dr. Mills. And, she adds, don’t drape anything over their backs in an attempt to lower their body temperature, as this will end up trapping more heat.
Even if you can’t take a leisurely walk due to the heat, your furry friends can still be outdoors. So when it’s time to, uh, make and stretch their adorable calves, here are the best dog cooling bandanas, and a few other handy accessories to cool off outside and around the house.
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