Fun Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool this Summer

by April 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

From Rachel Jones. Email her at rjones[AT] She is the owner of K-9 Divine and a professional dog trainer.


Dogs often enjoy pools. (Rachel Jones)

As we head into summer, it is important to make sure your dog stays cool. Heat stroke can occur after only 5 minutes of exposure to hot temperatures and can be fatal. Here are some ideas for keeping cool in the heat:

  • Take your dog swimming.  Two options for off leash dog swimming in the area are Shirlington Dog Park in Arlington, Va., and Downs Memorial Dog Park Beach in Pasadena, Md.
  • Buy a kiddie pool for your patio or backyard. Even if you have a small patio, your dog will love splashing around in a kiddie pool.
  • Make doggie “popsicles.” Freeze chicken or beef broth in an ice cube tray and give them to your dog as a cool treat.

Signs of Heat Stroke

Limit your dog’s outdoor time during peak sun and never leave him in a hot car. If you are worried about them being bored, add some training or stimulating toys to make up for the shorter walks in summer. Signs of heat stroke include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, bright red gums and unsteadiness.

If you see these symptoms, try to immediately cool your dog by placing her in a tub of cool water (not freezing) or using a cold cloth to cool her feet and groin area. If symptoms persist, go to the vet right away.

Summers in DC can be brutal for everyone. Make sure your dog is comfortable and happy this summer!

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