If you have air conditioning in your home, there’s no question your pooch will be comfortable during those hot months with the summer heat. However, not everyone has air conditioning and some just can’t afford to install a central cooling system. Even window air conditioners and portable air conditioners may not really be an affordable option.
The good news is that there are lots of ways you can keep your dog cool on a hot day. There is also a wide variety of doggy products available that can help too. Check out the following ways on how to keep your pets safe inside the house when the rest of your home or apartment feels like it was dropped in a pressure cooker.
Keep Your Pooch Where It’s Cooler
If you own a home, then the coolest place in your home is the lowest place, which is your basement. If you have ever gone into your basement in summer, you instantly feel a drop in humidity and temperature as a result of going “below ground.”
Your basement is technically eight to twelve feet below the top surface of the ground. Anything below six inches of the surface maintains a constant temperature of about fifty or sixty degrees all year long.
While it may not be the most ideal of situations, on the hottest of days when you are not home, you can put your dog’s crate, water dish, and your dog in the basement. Keep the basement door closed so that your dog stays where it is cool and comfortable. Then you can go to work or run errands and know that your dog will not suffer from heatstroke before you come home.
Better still, see if you can construct a “doggy room” in the basement. This turns one area of your basement into a dog-friendly space where your pooch stays cool and will not get hurt or do damage in your absence. It may take a little work, but it’s worth it to have a space to keep your dogs cool while you are away from the home.
Give Them A Cool Place To Lay Down
Even without fur to hamper your nighttime sleep, humans know how hard it is to sleep when it’s just too hot. Imagine how your doggy must feel with all of his or her fur and trying to sleep on a plush bed made for warmth and comfort! There are two products that come to mind which can be purchased. These can alter the temperature of your dog’s bed and make it much easier for them to sleep comfortably through a hot summer’s night.
One product is a cooling gel pad. It does this neat little trick of pulling heat away from the dog bed and making it evaporate. You can buy it as a product to put under your dog’s current pillow-style bed, or you can buy the bed with the gel pad layer built into it.
The second option is to buy an elevated dog bed. These raised beds let cooler air pass from below through a breathable mesh fabric that your dog lays on top of. Raised beds are great for dogs with a thicker coat.
If your dog happens to be a chewer, you’ll want to consider the raised bed, as your dog may find the cooling gel pad and chew it to pieces creating quite a mess before you wake up. If you do get a cooling gel pad and you have a young puppy, you should definitely stick with the dog bed that has the built-in cooling gel pad instead of the pad you place separately under the bed.
Use a Cooling Vest
Another option on how to keep pets cool without air conditioning is to use cooling vests. This is an ideal option if you live in an apartment and your pets can’t retreat to a basement or another cooler area to rest during the day. The cooling vests are soaked in water and over time it will evaporate and keep your pet’s body cool.
There are all different sizes of cooling vests for dogs as well as cats. If you usually buy a winter sweater to keep your dog warm out on walks, then you already have a good idea of what size to buy. If you aren’t sure, measure your dog around their withers, the part of the body that includes the dog’s shoulders but is located right behind the legs. The measurement in inches will tell you what size of cooling vest you should buy.
Additionally, you do not have to refrigerate or freeze the cooling vest. In fact, it’s recommended that you definitely don’t freeze the vest because then it is too stiff to put on your dog. You could refrigerate it a bit if the day is especially hot and your living quarters are unbearable. However, most cooling vests work as-is and dogs generally lay still when it’s too hot to move.
A Wet Dog Is A Cool Dog
As the air hits their wet fur and skin, it is very cooling and soothing. You can achieve this by bathing your dog indoors in the tub (a lot of people already do this), using a misting spray bottle if your dog likes that kind of thing, or using wet towels or blankets placed over your dog to keep cool. If you also place your wet dog in front of a safe blowing fan that your dog won’t knock over, then they’ll have the added benefit of having a cooling breeze along with being wet.
If your dog enjoys being in the water and you have space in your backyard or other areas of your home, consider getting a kiddie pool for those warm days, specially made for your dog. These pools are easy to set up, has a drain plug, and are foldable to save space for storage. They are not too deep, about 8-12 inches just deep enough where your dog can lay down in it, and it comes in several diameters for different size dogs.
Put Some Ice In The Water Bowl
Adding ice in your dog’s water dish during an extreme heat wave definitely won’t hurt them either. It keeps the water cool and refreshing, and the ice creates more cool water to drink as it melts. Depending on the size of the bowl, add between two and eight cubes of ice from your own freezer. The bigger the dog and the bigger the water bowl, the more ice cubes you will need to add.
There are also doggy bowls on the market that chills the dog’s water. They are not cheap as far as water bowls are concerned, but if you normally buy a lot of toys and other accessories for your pet, then the price shouldn’t be a big deal. If you don’t want to make ice cubes or run out and buy ice every few days, buy the water bowl that stays chill on its own.