Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Got a Hot Dog? How to Cool Down a Senior Dog in Extreme Heat

On the  news today they were showing a police dog competition that went on yesterday in our town despite heat indices of well over 100 degrees. One officer mentioned that many have a first instinct to cool a dog by pouring water on them but it is not a good idea. An extremely hot dog can go into shock if suddenly doused with hot water so what should you do?

Senior dogs are even more susceptible to heat stroke in the extreme heat. Our older canine friends can have many health issues and becoming overheated can have deadly consequences with the additional stress on their bodies and heart.


The best way to keep a dog cool in hot weather is to prevent overheating in the first place. Don't take your senior dog with on errands when the temperatures are extremely hot. If they cannot go into the stores or other places on your route, leave them home. A car with all of its windows is like a oven. If your dog's temperature gets up to 110 degrees, there is little that can be done to cool them. Even a dog that loves riding in the car will prefer to remain in the air conditioning at home.

Other quick tips to keep your canine cool:
  1. Let outdoor dogs in--Let them cool off on the basement floor.
  2. Kiddie splash pools are perfect pet ponds
  3. Walk them early in the day or later at night 
  4. Grass is more paw-friendly than concrete or asphalt
  5. Dogs with dark fur will heat up faster than those with lighter fur in the sunshine.
  6. Sunscreen is available for pets with short hair or light colored fur (yes dogs can sunburn).
  7. Check with groomer before shaving. Not all breeds should have short cropped hair
SIGNS of Dog Dehydration
  • Heavy panting
  • Labored breathing
  • Vomiting 
  • Unusual behavior
  • Droopy Lips
  • Lack of Energy
  • Won't eat or drink

Copyright 2011 OldDogPaws.com

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