Caring For a Longhaired Dog in the Summer

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck outside on one of the hottest days of summer without any shade and you have forgotten your shoes. Your feet are blistering on the sidewalk and you have a monstrous fur coat stuck to your body that you cannot take off. To make matters even worse, you have lost the ability to sweat, so cooling off seems impossible.

If this sounds like some type of weird torture, you're wrong. Dogs with heavy fur coats have to deal with this type of suffering every year. Their drooling tongues and insistent panting are both signs of overheating and possible dehydration in your dog. Just like all mammals, dogs depend on regular water intake to maintain healthy bodies. If your dog overheats, they can suffer from serious health conditions that include: depression, sunken eyes, lethargy and a loss of appetite.

Depending on the genealogy and breed of your pooch, they may be more sensitive to certain types of weather and temperatures. Labradors, for instance, do well in wet areas because they were bred to be excellent swimmers and their webbed paws and special oils in their coat make it easier for them to adapt to soggy situations.

Yet, canines that were bred to withstand harsh winters tend to suffer the worst during hot summer months. St. Bernards, Huskies and Chow Chows were designed to thrive in snow climates, which means that they can feel the brunt of the heat that much more. While it's true that all dogs shed their "winter coats" when the warm months start to roll in, it's still uncomfortable for them to be outside for long periods of time and pet owners need to make special accommodations for these furry companions.

Cool Ways To Keep Them Comfy

If your dog buries him or herself in the sand or is constantly trying to jump in the pool, you might want to start looking for a new way to keep them cool in the summer time. Check below for some innovative ways to keep them from overheating:

  • Summer Trim: "Just take a little of the top." Giving your dog a haircut for the summer is a good way to keep them cooler in the summer months. However, pet owners should be aware that a shaved coat means more maintenance, too. Although you don't have to worry about brushing their coat, you do need to worry about sunburns, skin disorders and fleas.

  • Chillow: The Chillow requires no electricity or maintenance. Simply fill it up with water and place it close to your dog's favorite sleeping spot. It can be placed over a blanket or inside a pillow for easy access. The Chillow is the perfect size for smaller or medium sized dogs that like to cool down after a walk outside.

So, when you see your furry pooch starting to drool a bit more, panting frantically or constantly looking for shaded areas, remember that you need to be the one to provide them comfort and water. Dogs, especially those with heavy coats, are extremely vulnerable to overheating. Be sure to use these tips to ensure that Fido keeps his tail wagging throughout the summer months.

If you're looking other ways to keep your dog cool, be sure to ask the pet experts at by calling 800-957-5753. The dog lovers are more than happy to answer any questions about any of the products that we carry in our catalogue.

By Sean Bowes
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