The dog days of summer are upon us (no pun intended), and even at night, there’s no relief from the heat. Your poor dog pants day and night and isn’t sleeping well. How can you cool them down when the sun sets?
Here are some methods for keeping your dog cool on hot summer nights:
- Give them a haircut
- Refill their water
- Add some ice to the water dishes
- Mist your dog with cool water
- Turn on an oscillating fan or AC
- Freeze a dog chew toy
- Wet your dog’s paws
- Let them rest on a cool surface
In today’s article, we’ll elaborate on all the methods above so your dog can sleep soundly on humid nights, and you can get some more rest yourself. There’s lots of great info to come, so make sure you keep reading!
8 Methods for Cooling Down Your Dog on Sweltering Summer Nights
1. Give Them a Haircut
Some dogs shed seasonally in the summer, releasing all that thick winter fur for a lighter summer coat.
A double coat offers some degree of insulation, but even still, if your dog is panting around the clock, they could be cooler still. It’s time to grab your dog-grooming scissors or shears and get to work.
You’re only giving your dog a trim, not going scorched-earth and cutting off all their hair.
Shaving a dog is about the worst thing you can do. You’re exposing their skin, which now puts your pup at a higher risk of skin cancer as they play in the summer sun all day.
If your dog is indeed double-coated, the way their two layers of fur grow back can also be troublesome. The undercoat grows at a much more accelerated rate than the overcoat and can even prevent the overcoat from coming in the right way.
Trim your dog by all means but never to the skin, and never shave them!
2. Refill Their Water More Frequently
You should refill your dog’s water bowl at least daily at any other time of the year. However, when the summer temperatures are their hottest and the sun does its worst, it might be a good idea to increase the refill frequency.
We would recommend filling the bowl once in the morning with cold water and then again in the evening.
This way, your dog has cold, fresh-tasting water to quench its thirst. Your dog can come back to the bowl throughout the night if needed.
Please wash out the bowl in between refills so it stays clean. If you’re using soap to clean your dog’s water bowl, always wash out all the soap residue.
3. Add Some Ice to Water Dishes
Your poor dog has been panting constantly for an hour. You want to help them, so it’s ice cubes to the rescue!
Pop a few ice cubes out of the tray and insert them into your dog’s water bowl. If they have more than one bowl, then put at least an ice cube in each.
On especially blistering nights where even you’re sweating, you might double up on the ice cubes.
Make sure you keep making ice (unless your fridge or freezer does it for you) so you never run out when your dog needs it the most.
Another way to cool down and entertain your dog at the same time is to put an ice cube or two in a plastic bowl and let them go to town.
If your dog is anything like our Cavoodle, Coco, your pup will have a blast chasing the ice cubes around, biting them, and even eating them!
4. Mist Your Dog with Cool Water
We’re not advocating for you to hose off your dog in the yard and then bring them in, as your carpeting, hard flooring, and upholstery will end up a soaked mess. Oh, and that wet dog smell will be hard to get out of the room.
Rather, you might use a misting fan to gently moisten your dog’s coat. You do need a misting fan for this job rather than a humidifier, as yes, there is indeed a difference.
A humidifier will only make the house hotter whereas a misting fan is more refreshing.
That said, you should always use cold water rather than lukewarm water so the misting fan feels even better on your dog.
You might want a few minutes in front of the misting fan yourself if it’s an especially burning hot type of night!
5. Turn on an Oscillating Fan or Window Air Conditioner
We’re assuming that your home is already air-conditioned to combat the relentless summer heat. However, once the mercury rises past a certain point, the air conditioner doesn’t do more than keep the temperatures from getting too muggy.
Your home certainly doesn’t feel cool. Your poor AC is already working so hard that you don’t want to push it harder by cranking down the temps, but you don’t know what else to do.
You can use room and window air conditioners to make certain parts of the home cooler.
After a few minutes of the air conditioner running, you will notice a difference. Your dog will feel so much cooler as well, especially if you set up the window AC in their sleeping quarters.
At the very least, you should use an oscillating fan or two in the room. The fans can create a cross breeze that will make your dog feel like they’re spending time out in their favorite patch of grass in the yard.
6. Freeze a Doggy Chew Toy
Your dog usually loves playing with chew toys, although lately, they haven’t had so much exuberance for it. This heat wave has really stifled their activity levels, and rightfully so!
Get your dog enthused about playing again and cool them down with a freezable dog toy like the Chilly Bone.
The Chilly Bone is a canvas dog toy, but some rubber toys are freezer-safe as well.
To set up the Chilly Bone, simply turn on your sink, let the water run nice and cold, and soak the toy. Then insert the Chilly Bone into its included plastic bag and freeze it.
After several hours, the 5 ½-inch bone-shaped toy is ready for playing. Your dog will enjoy the cold sensation of the Chilly Bone in their mouth, and they’ll feel nice and cool too.
Do be aware that as the Chilly Bone begins to thaw, it could leak water. You might not want to let your dog play with the toy on some surfaces such as hardwood, especially if it’s untreated.
On other hard surfaces, the puddles left behind can be a tripping hazard, and on carpeting, the rug can get soppy and soaked. Maybe lay down a few towels to control the mess. Your dog will be so blissfully cool that they won’t even notice!
7. Wet Your Dog’s Paws
As we said before, wetting your entire dog with a gardening hose is out of the question when they’ll be inside for the night.
Besides buying them a misting fan, you can also wet only their paws.
Why the paws? Dogs contain merocrine sweat glands in their paw pads that behave akin to sweat glands. Dogs do sweat, but only through their paw pads.
By wetting their paws, you’re preventing the merocrine sweat glands from being so active. Your dog will stop sweating and panting and enjoy some much-needed relief.
You will have to keep re-wetting their paws on a very hot night.
8. Let Them Rest on a Cool Surface
Watch where your dog is lounging during the warmest part of the season. Certain surfaces will only make them feel warmer.
That doesn’t mean your poor dog is stuck on the hard floor. The floor may feel cool, but it’s also terribly uncomfortable.
Instead, buy your pup a nice surface to rest on such as this cooling mat, which is a self-cooling gel pad that’s activated by pressure. There’s no need for refrigeration, freezing, electricity, or water.
Within 15 or 20 minutes of inactivity, the gel within the pad recharges for another refreshing use.
You can also put some freezer blocks or ice packs in their bed.
If your dog just won’t stop panting on a hot summer night, you don’t have to keep yourself up by listening to it. With the methods, we listed in this article, you can quickly cool down your dog until the heatwave passes!