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SkippyShadowCat 04-15-2014 01:13 AM

Keeping cool in summer heat
I like to take my GSD out on walks, camping, hiking, etc but now it's starting to get hotter and the heat is getting to him. I don't take him out if I know it's gonna be hot so I walk when it's cooler but besides that and keeping water available and staying where it's cooler what can I do on outings? Any tips or tricks or products I can buy to make it easier on him?

Ellimaybel 04-15-2014 02:52 AM

Lakes, ponds, beaches, even a kiddie pool in your yard. Gunther ravishes through his pool like a bull moose in heat. I wait a while before bringing him in, after I dump out the pool. Otherwise my carpet cleaner would be running 24/7

Harry and Lola 04-15-2014 04:14 AM

Living in Australia, we have to deal with hot humid weather and my GSDs don't cope sometimes. When it's really hot and I have to exercise throughout the day I use a Cool Vest Cooling Vest for military and law enforcement working dogs - ChillyDog Cool Vest. I also do things like freeze a bowl of water with something yummy in it like vegemite or dried liver treats and give to them like an ice block and they swim a lot.

NancyJ 04-15-2014 06:14 AM

My dog lives outside during the day so he is acclimatized to the heat.
We have a good sticky in the SAR forum on working dogs in the heat that has lots of helpful advice.

David Winners 04-15-2014 07:33 AM

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Nancy has the right idea, for humans and dogs both. The warmer you keep your house, the cooler it will feel to you both outside. When I get to the desert with a dog, I set the temp on the AC at 85. Yes, we are both hot at first, and I spend a lot of time in not much clothing, but after a couple weeks, you really get acclimated to the heat and it's easier on you both to operate.

I never leave the AC on in a car when the dog is inside. I always leave the rear hatch and windows open. I spend as much time outside doing physical activity as possible in the spring so the dog gets used to the heat gradually if possible. I keep a spray bottle of water on me at all times to mist the dog's belly and paws to aid cooling if they get too hot. I also always have a thermometer with me to keep an eye on their core temp. Anything over 104 and we take a break and cool down.

Hydration is paramount to dealing with the heat, in humans and dogs. I will bait water or sub Q fluids before hard activity in the heat. Hydration is a way of life and not a 1 time event. You don't hydrate the day before a hike. By then, it's too late. You keep the dog hydrated all the time through encouraging drinking and baiting water with appropriate stuff, like homemade beef broth... yum.

Be sure to groom a lot too. Keep those extra hairs from insulating the dog unnecessarily.

My pet dogs get less of this than my working dogs going to the middle east, obviously, but some of it still applies. We keep out thermostat at 80, not 68. They get baited water 3 times a day when we are training in the summer. They also spend a lot of time outside just hanging out. They always have shade and water, but they spend quite a bit of time outside when it starts getting warm, especially Lucian the Cane Corso. He needs all the acclimatization he can get LOL

misslesleedavis1 04-15-2014 08:48 AM

Meanwhile in ontario we have fresh snow on the ground :( when the weather gets very hot here I fill a kiddy pool with water under a tree in my backyard, when we exercise them we bring alot of water for them and we break them every half hour or so. Last summer we ran into a lady with a older mixed dog, she had him wearing a very light mesh type backpack with super light ice packs going all around tje dogs belly, she said she made it herself though.

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NancyJ 04-15-2014 08:50 AM

I also carry instant cold ice packs in my pack. You get them at drugstores You break a little thing inside of it and it gets cold from a chemical reaction. I used them once on a search where we were on a ridgeline in there was no water available for the dog to lay in and get cool. If he's warm he instinctively heads for shade or water and I allow him to follow his instincts. I have had other dogs who would not stop. When we do work in the heat we stop every 20-30 minutes for a forced shade and water break. I also bait my water. Zukes minis are great for that.

EDIT - google voice and the Petguide app just don't like me one bit.

David Winners 04-15-2014 09:07 AM

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Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 5378185)

EDIT - google voice and the Petguide app just don't like me one bit.

I find Swype + Dragon to work better for me.

Mrs.P 04-15-2014 09:52 AM

Keeping cool in summer heat
Love the chillydog cooling vest that was posted earlier !

SkippyShadowCat 04-15-2014 10:21 AM

Thank you. I'm going to give most of those a try, I never thought about instant ice packs I'll be adding that to his emergency bag I keep for him.
I heard about the chilly dog on another thread and heard great things about it I will have to look into it more.

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