Tag Archives: cooling vest

Beating the heat with big dogs

disclaimer: I have included a couple of links to the products that I have chosen, I am not affiliated with these companies and I have paid for these products myself.

Summer has arrived and so have the high temps!

It seems like every summer I get caught off guard when a heat wave arrives.  We go from high 70’s to low 90’s in a flash.  It usually only lasts for 2 or 3 days,  but I have found several things that seem to relieve the dogs’ discomfort while we wait for the normal temperatures to return.

  1. Ice in the water bowl: In a addition to keeping their water cool, they like to bob for the ice.  Getting their snout all the way into the water seems to cool them off quickly, I just need to keep my feet out of the way because it’s pretty cold when they come by with water dripping out of their jowls!IMG_2114
  2. Cooling mats: Over the years I’ve tried several different brands.  The options are limited for big dogs because many of the mats are too small but last year I found one that is big enough and isn’t too heavy to move around.  It’s gel filled and claims to keep cool for about 6 hours. It is self cooling, no need to refrigerate and isn’t filled with water.  We had one of those years ago and it leaked which made a big mess.  At night Annie moves from her bed to the mat and then back again and seems to be very comfortable when she’s on it.   https://www.thegreenpetshop.com/product/cool-pet-pad.html
  3. Cooling vest: In addition to being a senior, black dog Annie’s body temperature is consistently on the high side of normal.  I don’t walk the dogs when it is over 80 degrees, we try to go out in the morning or evening when it’s cooler but even then I noticed Annie slowing down and panting a lot.  I found a cooling vest for her and it really did seem to make her more comfortable.  We still go on shorter walks but with the vest, she keeps her regular pace.  It’s easy to use, I soak it and then wring it out.  It keeps her cool without saturating her fur, she really isn’t wet when I take it off but her fur is noticeably cooler.IMG_2437https://www.chewy.com/techniche-international-evaporative/dp/141830
  4. Backyard kiddie pool: we don’t go to the beach if it’s too hot.  There is not enough shade and the sand can be too hot for their feet. Our backyard is very shady so I fill the pool and they can wade in and splash around when they want to.  Dogs cool through their paw pads, so a quick dip will give them immediate comfort.IMG_1042
  5. Fans, fans, fans: I keep a fan on the floor and at any given time there is at least one dog in front of it.  I think they like the feel of the wind in their hair and it helps to keep the air circulating when they are in their crates. Because I hate how dirty the blades get and I worry about long dog tail hair getting caught in the fan I just ordered a bladeless fan with and an attached air purifier. With 3 dogs it seemed like a good idea.  It didn’t arrive in time for this heat wave but I look forward trying it out. IMG_2092Saving the best for last,
  6. Frozen treats: After searching for all natural brands and spending too much money on “doggie ice cream” made by other people I decided to do it myself.  I use unsweetened natural yogurt as a base and blend in different flavorings.  On this day I made a batch of peanut butter banana and blackberry.  I also put watermelon chunks in the blender and made watermelon ice.  They get so excited when I pull these out of the freezer. It’s their favorite after dinner treat!IMG_1719Because it is so important to be aware of the signs, here is a link for an article about heat stroke in dogs. It’s a serious threat for our beloved pets and can be fatal if not attended to quickly  http://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/heat-stroke-in-dogs-what-is-heat-stroke-and-when-does-it-happen