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September 21, 2017

Keeping Your Dog Cool During the Summer in Atlanta


In a southern city like Atlanta, summer weather can easily soar into the eighties, nineties, or even higher. When the days are so hot, you need to make sure that your pets stay at a cool and comfortable temperature. Our Atlanta pet sitting company shares five easy ways to help keep your dog cool in hot weather, plus information about warning signs that a dog is overheating, and what the normal body temperature is for a healthy dog or puppy.

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What is the Normal Temperature for a Dog or Puppy?

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you might have already seen our previous tips on keeping different types of pets cool and comfortable in the heat. If you own a guinea pig, you might like our blog on keeping your guinea pig cool in the summer. Or, if you’re more of a cat person, perhaps you’d rather read our article featuring tips to cool down your feline friend. But if you’re a dog owner, don’t go anywhere, because our Atlanta dog walkers are about to explain:

  1. The correct body temperature for a dog.
  2. Advice on keeping your dog cool when it’s hot outside.
  3. The symptoms of overheating in dogs.

The first thing to understand is what temperature your dog is supposed to be at. While a human’s average temperature should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), the normal body temperature for dogs is slightly higher. A healthy adult dog’s temperature should be somewhere in the range of 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is approximately 38.3 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. If you were that warm, you’d be sick with a fever; but for dogs, a temperature between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit is considered the standard.

Puppies begin life a little cooler than their fully-grown counterparts. Depending on their stage of development, the normal temperature for newborn puppies is about 96 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 35.6 to 36.1 degrees Celsius), which should gradually increase to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 37.8 degrees Celsius) by the time the puppy is about four weeks old.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather

Summertime heat can be stressful for dogs, but you can make it easier and more comfortable. Here are five simple tips on how:

  1. Make sure your dog has water all the time. This is true year-round, but is especially important in summer. Dogs can get dehydrated just like humans, so even if Fido is on a strict feeding schedule, make sure he has 24/7 access to clean, cool, fresh water.
  2. Make sure your dog can access shaded areas. Sure, all that bright sunlight streaming in through the windows makes your living room look great – but it can also turn your home into an oven! Make sure Fluffy has a dim, shady refuge where she can get away from the sun and heat, like a bathroom or guest bedroom where you keep a fan or air conditioner running and the shades pulled down. On a related note, make sure your dog will never be trapped anywhere in your house (like a room with a sticky door jamb), especially if you’re about to head out.
  3. Don’t leave your dog outside. Leaving your dog tied up outside all day dramatically increases the risk of injury, sickness, or death, even with water and a patch of shade (which can shrink, or move out of the leash’s range, over the course of the day). Keep your dog indoors while you’re at work, where the environment is more controlled. Dogs can’t sweat to cool themselves down, so a hot, sunny day can be extremely dangerous.
  4. Groom more frequently. Loose fur and dust can be uncomfortable for your pet, especially during the sticky summer season. Make sure to groom your dog often to remove all excess material. That will make it easier for your dog to stay cool (plus, you’ll find less fur on your sofa and carpets).
  5. Never leave your dog in the car. Dogs can overheat in minutes, especially if they are very young, very old, or have health issues. It is extremely dangerous to leave your dog locked in a car, even with the air conditioner running. Either take your dog into the shop with you, or leave them at home where it’s cooler.

Dog overheating symptoms include:

  • Accelerated Heartbeat
  • Discolored Gums/Tongue
  • Elevated Temperature
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to respond immediately. Call a veterinarian without delay for medical guidance. You can also apply cool water to your dog (such as a soaked washcloth) while you are on the phone with the vet.

Atlanta Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Company

Leaving your dog alone in hot weather can be stressful. But with Critter Sitters in your contacts list, you’ll never have to worry about Fido again. Book our dog sitters or puppy sitters for as many home visits as you need, and we’ll make provide all the pet care your doggy requires, including food, water, walking, medication, and of course, some affectionate TLC. Our team has decades of experience and serves dozens of communities in and around Atlanta, including:

For a free consultation with Critter Sitters, call our Georgia pet care company today at (404) 973-2541.