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From hair trims to swimming, here's how to keep your dog cool this season

Some tips on keeping your dog cool and hydrated during this scorching summer

Swimming is a great way to exercise your dog without them overheating, provided it's done during cooler times of the day if outdoors.(Unsplash/Elisa Kennemer)

By Nitika Ahlawat

LAST PUBLISHED 25.04.2024  |  01:00 PM IST

Summer is thought of as the time for fun. Schools are shut, and people plan trips and outings, often with their furry friends. But it’s also a challenging season for animals, one that requires us to take special care of our dogs as they are susceptible to heat-related issues. 

Here are a few things for dog parents to keep in mind during this season:  

Regular grooming: 

To keep your dog cool this summer, it's best to establish a regular bath and brushing routine. Regular grooming helps prevent matting of fur, and allows better airflow to the skin. You can even consider giving your long-coat dog a summer trim. But remember never to shave your dog’s hair completely. A dog's coat acts as insulation and keeps them from getting too cold in the winter, but also keeps them from overheating in the summer.  

Also read: When pets feel the heat

Timing outdoor activities: 

During peak summer months, it's best to take walks and play outdoors in the early mornings and late evenings. Also consider walking on grassy and shaded routes, so it’s easier on the dog.  

Ensure proper hydration: 

It is important to ensure that your dog always has access to fresh, clean drinking water. When going outside, it's best to carry a bottle for your dog. Having said this, it is also crucial to clean your dog’s water bowl regularly to prevent bacteria and other harmful substances from accumulating in the water.  

Ensure shade: 

If outside, providing shade to dogs during these summer months is essential. They should always have access to shaded areas where they can rest and cool off. This also goes for all the community dogs you might be taking care of.  

Different activities: 

It is great to switch up the activities you do with your dogs during the summer months. You can substitute outdoor play with indoor mental stimulation games. You can even take your dog swimming during this time, as swimming is a great way to exercise your dog without it overheating. Just make sure this is not done during the hottest times of day if it’s an outdoor pool.

Know signs of overheating: 

It’s essential to know the signs of heatstroke in dogs and to watch out for them during the summer. The most common symptom of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting. Other symptoms may include signs of discomfort such as drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of consciousness, and uncoordinated movement. If you suspect heatstroke, imdogs in mediately move your dog to a cooler area and seek veterinary attention. 


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Cooler foods: 

One of the best ways to keep your pet comfortable during the summer months is to also introduce cooling foods to their diet. For example, the consumption of duck meat can help regulate body temperature and keep your pet cool. Foods such as curd, and some fruits can be given to cool them off too. You can also make fruit popsicles during this time, as they can be really refreshing for your pet. Just check with your veterinarian if unsure what fruits to feed your dog.  

Nitika Ahlawat is a Bengaluru-based dog trainer and pet care content creator who posts on Instagram @thegoldengrey.

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