Prevent Your Pup from Overheating in the Dog Days of Summer

Anne Quinn-Diment

If you’ve lived in SaddleBrooke during the sweltering summer, you know the drill. Keep your dogs inside during the hottest parts of the day, make sure they always have access to fresh drinking water, and exercise your pups only in the early morning or evening.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is essential to take preventive measures to keep your dog cool during hot summer months. Try these tips:

Ensure that your pup has a shaded area with good airflow when resting outdoors.

Avoid strenuous exercise or long walks during the hottest parts of the day.

Visit the SaddleBrooke Dog Park for off-leash exercise during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.

Never leave your dog in a parked car. Even with the windows open, a parked car can become dangerously hot within minutes.

Consider using cooling mats, vests, or bandanas designed to proactively keep your canine cool. These products are specifically designed to help regulate body temperature.

What should you do if your dog does overheat? Help your canine companion cool down by taking these steps:

1) Take your dog indoors to access air conditioning or a fan.

2) Provide cool and clean drinking water. You can also give them ice cubes to lick, or add ice to their water bowl.

3) Direct a fan near (not directly on) your dog to help the moisture evaporate and cool them down.

4) Use a damp towel or sponge to wet your dog’s body with cool (not cold) water. Help them regulate their body temperature by focusing on their belly, armpits, and paws.

5) Never use very cold water or ice to rapidly cool your dog, as this can cause blood vessels to constrict, which impedes the ability to cool off. Stick to cool water instead.

6) Place cool, damp towels or cooling mats on the floor for your dog to lie on. You can also use a spray bottle to mist them with cool water.

7) Use a rectal thermometer to check your dog’s temperature. If it’s above 103°F, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

8) Ensure your dogs rest and don’t engage in vigorous activities until their temperature has normalized.

9) Watch for signs of heatstroke, which include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, rapid breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse. If you suspect heatstroke, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Remember, if you suspect heatstroke or are unsure about your dog’s condition, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and guidance.

The SaddleBrooke Dog Park was created to provide member dogs with a safe space to exercise off-leash and socialize. The member-funded park includes separate areas for small dogs and large dogs, as well as a fenced area for senior and other dogs who prefer less interaction. All member dogs must have proof of current rabies vaccination. The park is located at 39984 S. Sand Crest Drive in SaddleBrooke (at the intersection of S. Sand Crest Drive and S. Clubhouse Drive). For more information, visit For membership information, contact [email protected].