7 Tricks on How to Cool a Dog Down in Summer

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities with your dog, but it can also pose some risks for your furry friend. Dogs can easily overheat and suffer from heatstroke, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Here are some tips on how to cool a dog down in summer and prevent heat-related problems.

Signs of Overheating and Heatstroke

Dogs have a normal body temperature of around 102 degrees Fahrenheit, but when they are exposed to high temperatures or strenuous exercise, their body temperature can rise above 103 degrees Fahrenheit. This is called overheating, and it can cause symptoms such as:

  • Excessive panting
  • Collapse
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bright red gums
  • Lethargy
  • Slowed response time
  • Inability to get comfortable
  • Seeking cooler surfaces such as tile
  • Rapid heart rate

If your dog’s body temperature reaches 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, they are at risk of heatstroke, which is a medical emergency. Heatstroke can damage your dog’s organs and cause death if not treated quickly. Signs of heatstroke include:

  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dark red or purple gums
  • Bleeding from the nose or mouth
  • Shock

If you notice any of these signs in your dog, you need to act fast and take them to the nearest veterinarian immediately.

How to Cool a Dog Down

If your dog is overheated but not showing signs of heatstroke, you can try to lower their body temperature by following these steps:

  1. Move your dog to a cool, shaded area or indoors with air conditioning.
  2. Offer your dog cool, fresh water to drink. Do not force them to drink if they are not interested.
  3. Wet your dog’s fur with cool water using a hose, a spray bottle, or a wet towel. Avoid using ice or ice-cold water, as this can cause blood vessels to constrict and trap heat inside the body.
  4. Place cool, wet towels over your dog’s neck, under their forelimbs (in their armpits), and between their hind legs (around their groin). These are the areas where blood vessels are close to the skin and can help dissipate heat.
  5. Use a fan to blow air over your dog’s wet fur. This will help evaporate the water and cool them down faster.
  6. Monitor your dog’s temperature using a rectal thermometer with lubricant. Stop cooling them when their temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
  7. Keep an eye on your dog for the next 24 hours and contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of distress or organ damage.

How to Prevent Overheating and Heatstroke

The best way to cool a dog down in summer is to prevent them from overheating in the first place. Here are some tips on how to keep your dog cool and comfortable in hot weather:

  • Avoid leaving your dog in a parked car, even with the windows cracked. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly and become deadly for your dog in minutes.
  • Avoid walking your dog during the hottest hours of the day. Choose early morning or evening hours when the sun is less intense and the pavement is cooler.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of shade and water when they are outside. You can also use a kiddie pool, a sprinkler, or a cooling mat for them to splash or lie on.
  • Choose activities that involve water, such as swimming in pools or lakes. Water can help regulate your dog’s body temperature and keep them hydrated.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or play with your dog when it is hot. Limit their activity level and duration according to their age, breed, health, and fitness level.
  • Use sunscreen on your dog’s exposed skin, such as their nose, ears, and belly. Some dogs are more prone to sunburn than others, especially those with white or fine coats.
  • Use cooling products designed for dogs, such as cooling vests, collars, bandanas, or mats. These products use evaporation or gel technology to keep your dog cool for hours.
  • Keep your dog well-groomed and trimmed according to their coat type. Some dogs benefit from having their fur clipped short in summer, while others need their fur intact to protect them from the sun and insects.


What is the fastest way to cool down a dog?

When seeking ways to cool down your dog, consider allowing them to take a refreshing dip in a nearby lake or baby pool if available. If water isn’t accessible, you can use cool, damp cloths or towels to aid in cooling. Strategically place these cloths on your dog’s neck, armpits, and between their hind legs. Additionally, lightly dampening their ears and paw pads with cool water can provide relief. These methods can help regulate your dog’s body temperature and provide comfort during hot weather conditions.

Is it OK to cool your dog down with water?

To effectively cool down a dog suffering from heatstroke, wet their coat or soak a towel in cool (not extremely cold) water. Then, carefully place the damp towel over your dog’s body. This method aids in reducing their body temperature and is a vital step to take before seeking veterinary assistance. Cooling down the dog’s body temperature promptly is essential in heatstroke cases, and this technique can provide immediate relief while preparing for professional medical attention.

Dog Cooling Mat

Do ice packs help dogs cool down?

Ice and cooling mats offer an excellent solution to help your dog stay cool and comfortable. These mats provide a designated space for your pup to rest and beat the heat. Alternatively, you can create your DIY cooling mat using a damp towel. Simply wet the towel and place it in a cool spot for your dog to lie on. Regularly refresh the towel with cold water to maintain its cooling effect and prevent it from getting warm. This homemade cooling mat can provide a refreshing spot for your dog to relax and help regulate their body temperature during hot weather.

Should I cool my dog down with a hose?

While using a garden hose to wet your dog can be effective in cooling them down, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks. This method can result in excessive water wastage, and some dogs may have a fear of or negative reaction to the hose. Additionally, the high water pressure from the hose can potentially cause injuries to your furry friend. It’s crucial to prioritize your dog’s safety and comfort when exploring alternative ways to cool them down.


Keeping your dog cool in summer is important for their health and well-being. By following these tips on how to cool a dog down in summer, you can help your dog enjoy the warm weather safely and comfortably. Remember to watch for signs of overheating and heatstroke in your dog and seek veterinary attention if needed. Have fun with your dog this summer, but stay cool!

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