Top tips to keep your dog cool on summer nights

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relaxed in summer

When it comes to hot weather, a lot of the advice focuses on keeping your dog cool during daytime – but summer nights can become uncomfortably warm as well. Everypaw Pet Insurance’s in-house vet Dr. Anna Foreman has given her advice and top tips on how to keep dogs cool at night, too.

While we sleep, our animals are generally left unattended for long periods of time, often in a different room or part of the house. If something happens to them then it is commonly missed until the morning, much like if they were left alone during the day and not checked on for a long period of time.

It is equally as important at night as during the daytime to keep a dog cool – heat stress/dehydration and stroke is induced by high temperatures, not just by the sun. With temperatures hitting 40 degrees during the day, temperatures in our houses as low as 20 degrees at night can also set off heat stress and stroke in some breeds.

Generally temperatures under 20 degrees tend to be safe for dogs, although those who are of a large or flat faced breed, or who are obese or suffering from other health conditions should always have a close eye kept on them.

Particular caution should be taken in temperatures above 24 degrees at night as any dog, even those who are healthy, can develop heat stress/stroke in this zone.

Tips to keep dogs cool at night:

Make sure there are plenty of bowls of water available

Keep the curtains shut during the day (particularly in sunny rooms) so they are cooler at night

Ingestion of a small amount of ice is fine for a dog. Excessive consumption of pure ice can lead to abdominal discomfort (tummy ache!), however putting a few ice cubes in a dog’s water bowl to cool it down is fine. Equally putting some dog treats or other small edible snack bits (cut up apple, carrot etc.) in water and freezing it gives a dog a ‘lollypop’ to chew on.

Use of a fan or air conditioning unit – these should be placed on a stable surface that an animal cannot reach. An animal should have the option to lie in the path of these so they can self-regulate their temperature rather than being forced too.

Use of cooling mats, coats and blocks – as above, with the option to move away from them if required

Do not leave pets shut in an outside kennel overnight – temperatures in enclosed spaces can reach high temperatures at night as much as during the day.

Do not allow pets access to moving mechanical devices if left unsupervised as they could malfunction or the pet could knock them over, both leading to injury.

If concerned about a pet at night, particularly if they suffer from a medical condition that makes them more prone to heat stress, or if they are a brachycephalic breed, there is also the option to sleep in the same room as them. This way if they are struggling to breathe, an owner is much more likely to be alerted and act than if they are out of ear shot in another room/part of the house.

Keep the room cool, make sure the animal has their home comforts with them (toys/bedding etc.) so they do not become additionally stressed by a change in environment if they don’t normally sleep in the bedroom – or another room where an owner can comfortably rest!

This is a guest post by Dr Anna Foreman. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email editorial@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk.

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