Keeping dogs cool in the heat

With his thick black coat, it’s a tough job keeping Bruce cool in this gorgeous weather. Rather than complain about the heat though (we don’t get this often!), I asked around to find out how other people keep their dogs cool in summer.

A friend with a British bulldog told me her dog loves crunching on ice cubes – what a great image! – while another friend with a terrier cross said she freezes carrots for her little chap to chew on. I tried both with Bruce – he loved the cold carrot but wasn’t so keen on the ice cubes. We’ve also tried frozen mashed food stuffed into a kong – Bruce enjoyed the challenge of scraping all the food out with his cold tongue.

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A wet towel is a good way to keep dogs cool – photo supplied by Bruce’s Grandma Shirley!

Another friend told me he puts socks in the fridge and then wraps them around his labrador’s paws and pops them under her armpits. There’s a good use for the poor sock, which is surely otherwise redundant in this weather. He also pops a wet towel on the floor for her to lie on, as dogs cool down from the bottom up.

Quite a few dog owners advocated the cold pack, which can be wrapped in a tea towel and popped into your dog’s bed to keep that area cool. Similarly, I have set the hairdryer to the cool setting and blown it all over Bruce’s body. He seemed to quite like it. A fan next to his bed would also work well. Yesterday, when the heat was blistering, I opened the freezer door and let Bruce lounge in front of the frozen peas and homemade burgers for a few minutes, which looked like bliss. I had to remember to come back and close it again though!

One friend with a young child has rigged up a paddling pool in her garden, ostensibly for her little daughter to splash in. It seems the dog has claimed it for his own, though, and can be found lounging in the cool water of an afternoon like he’s enjoying the Mediterranean sea. We don’t have a paddling pool but Bruce did enjoy a cool shower yesterday, despite the puzzling realisation that he was being washed when he hadn’t even rolled in anything juicy.

The heat is so tiring Bruce can't even be bothered to take his harness off before he's flaked out - photo supplied by Grandma Shirley

The heat is so tiring Bruce can’t even be bothered to take his harness off before he’s flaked out – photo supplied by Grandma Shirley

Many people are avoiding the midday walk, which seems a good idea. Bruce finds the heat quite tiring, so there’s less charging about after a ball than usual and more sedate strolling at cooler times of the day. Some people have invested in doggie shoes to prevent their pup’s paws burning on the pavement – not a bad idea really, as even wooden decking in the garden can really heat up.

And of course, we all know we should never leave our dogs in the car, which could be fatal in the heat.

If you’ve got any awesome tips, please share 🙂

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Email Aislinn:

The Mighty Pooch are specialist dog photographers based in Yorkshire but happy to travel for photoshoots. Go behind the scenes of some of our shoots.


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