7 Cooling Items to Prevent Your Dog from Overheating, According to a Vet
Just like in humans, when a pet overheats, it can lead to serious health risks. "Dogs can overheat and suffer from heat exhaustion, which can become fatal," according to Dr. Zay Satchu, co-founder and chief veterinary officer of New York City-based veterinary clinic Bond Vet. When their internal body temperature becomes critically high, "pets can become dehydrated and their body can begin to have multiple organ failure." If not treated immediately, a pet may suffer or die from complications of organ damage, so it's important to keep an eye out for symptoms of overheating, such as an increased breathing rate, "dry or sticky gums, excessive drooling, changes of the gum and tongue color, decreased energy level, altered mental state or loss of consciousness," said Dr. Satchu.
The best course of action is to prevent a dog from overheating in the first place. Dr. Satchu recommends keeping leash walks to 10 minutes at a time on hot days (only going out early in the morning and late at night to avoid the hottest hours), limiting other outdoor activities, and providing ample water throughout the day.
On top of these tips, Dr. Satchu also suggested a few things you can keep on hand to lower the risk of overheating in pets, so we culled Amazon to find shoppers' favorite versions of each. Keep reading for the seven pet cooling products you should keep on hand this summer (and every summer).
Since their fur can act as an insulator, most long-haired breeds adapt to the hot weather better than you'd think; it's breeds with squished faces, like French bulldogs and pugs, that concern Dr. Satchu more. Regardless, she said it's important for all pet owners to carry water with them when heading out so their pets have access to a drink whenever they need it. You could carry a foldable water bowl to pour into from your own bottle, but Amazon reviewers swear by PetFusion's insulated water bottle that keeps contents chilled for hours. It comes with a dispenser that your dog can easily sip from — a reviewer said it's the "HydroFlask your dog needs."
Buy It! PetFusion Portable Insulated Dog Water Bottle with Dispenser, $15.95; amazon.com
It's important to consider the ground's temperature on your pets' paws, and Dr. Satchu said booties are an excellent protective measure on hot days. Qumy's breathable and cooling dog shoes have the approval of hundreds of Amazon shoppers, plus reviews like these: "We live in a hot place and got these shoes because my dog's feet burn on the sidewalk," said one shopper. "He had some rubber, waterproof booties before but he would overheat in them easily, these shoes seem more comfortable for him, they allow his feet to breathe and he does much better."
Buy It! Qumy Dog Shoes for Hot Pavements, $28.99; amazon.com
Protective Paw Balm
For dogs who aren't into booties, Dr. Satchu recommends a protective paw balm, like her clinic's own Bond Vet's Paw Balm: Apply it before every walk to protect and soften your dog's precious paws (not to mention their noses). Meanwhile, pet parents on Amazon call Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax a "great product for paw protection" and have awarded it 13,000 five-star ratings.
Buy It! Bond Vet Paw Balm, $12; bondvet.com
Buy It! Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax, $14.99; amazon.com
Cooling vests can provide relief for short periods of time, said Dr. Satchu, but wearing one too long can end up trapping heat in, so just keep your eye on your dog for any of the aforementioned signs of overheating when they're in one of these. A favorite of pet parents on Amazon is Ruffwear's Swamp Cooler cooling vest for dogs, which they call "perfect for hot days." To use it, just wet the vest in cold water: It uses evaporation to lower a dog's body temperature, while its outer reflective layer protects against excessive UV radiation. The inner mesh layer is comfortable and breathable, and unlike other cooling vests, Ruffwear's zipper-free version easily slips on. It even attaches to leashes seamlessly — no wonder owners have called it a "godsend."
Buy It! Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest for Dogs, $59.95; amazon.com
A Shady Place
The most important (and easiest) thing to do is to bring your pets inside when it's too hot out, according to Dr. Satchu. Trust your instincts: If it's too hot for you, it's probably too hot for your dogs, too. And even when it's tolerable outside for you, it's still a good idea to provide shade for your furry friends. An elevated dog bed with an overhead canopy keeps the sun's direct heat off their backs and the warm ground away from their paws. Shoppers can try Superjare's outdoor elevated dog bed; reviewers say it does a great job keeping dogs cool in hot summer weather.
Buy It! Superjare XLarge Outdoor Dog Bed, $59.99; amazon.com
If you and your pup are hanging out in your backyard for long periods of time, Dr. Satchu noted the importance of providing water there — even when the weather is tolerable. Most are good with a standard water bowl, but if you want a no-fuss setup you can bring outside that won't require constant refills (and also provides hours of entertainment), this outdoor step-on dog water fountain might be perfect for you. It's easy to install and comes with a hose that you can attach to an outdoor water source (like a spigot from the garden). Reviewers say it's the "perfect summer fun" and "much-needed in the summer."
Buy It! Trio Gato Step-On Outdoor Dog Drinking Water Fountain, $67.99; amazon.com
When you bring pets indoors, they should ideally be in a climate-controlled environment, said Dr. Satchu. Many homes rely on an air conditioning setup, but if you need an extra boost to lower the temperature, try this portable AC that "cools down the temperature" of a room in a snap.
Buy It! Auzkin Portable Air Conditioner, $45.99; amazon.com
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