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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Keep Your Dog Cool And Prevent Heatstroke

Keep Your Dog Cool and Prevent Heatstroke

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Because they can’t sweat to stay cool, dogs can suffer even more than people from too much time in the sun.  Panting sometimes isn’t enough to help your dog regain his body’s normal temperatures, especially in humid conditions.

Because they can’t sweat to stay cool, dogs can suffer even more than people from too much time in the sun.  Panting sometimes isn’t enough to help your dog regain his body’s normal temperatures, especially in humid conditions. Some dogs are more vulnerable to the heat than others.  These include dogs with short snouts like Boston Terriers, Boxers and English Bulldogs and dogs with long coats, as well the very old and very young, the obese, and those with chronic illnesses.

Help guard against overexertion in hot weather and heatstroke with the following tips: 

  • Never leave your dog in a parked car. It only takes minutes before the temperature is at a life-threatening level.
  • Limit outdoor exercise with your dog to early morning or evening when temperatures, and pavements, are generally cooler.
  • Some dogs don’t know when to quit playing, so you’re in charge of stopping play if your dog appears to be straining or slowing down.
  • Keep cool water available at all times. You can avoid outdoor spills (and an empty bowl) by partially burying a bucket of water.
  • When dogs are outdoors, make sure they have a shady area that won’t disappear with the movement of the sun.
  • Fill a baby pool half-way with water to give your dog a place to cool down.  Gauge the water level so that it’s appropriate for your dog’s size.
  • Use a little sunscreen on your dog’s ears and nose, and keep him well groomed. However, resist the temptation to shave him. Your pet's coat will protect him from getting sunburned. A matted coat traps in the heat, attracts parasites, and can cause skin sores.  

Related: Heatstroke: Know The Signs and How To Treat It

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