Keeping a Cool Pup in Extreme Heat

Zip at beach

As summer races by, we’re seeing higher and higher temperatures. Add on Chicago’s lakefront humidity and the heat index is barely safe for us humans, not to mention our dogs! It’s easy to forget about the little things and signs of heat stroke can be hard to identify. Here are a few ways to keep your pup cool as the temperatures rise outside.

1. Keep a regular grooming schedule. 

Zip is part poodle, so there’s no getting around keeping him well-groomed or shaved to avoid matting and overheating. In addition, a regular brushing for dogs that shed or have shorter hair can help alleviate the weight and extra heat of a coat.

2. Beware of hot pavement.

You’ve definitely heard this one before, but it often goes overlooked. It’s easy to forget that sidewalks and roads are hot when we’re the ones wearing shoes. For our pups, hot pavement feels like walking on a lit stovetop. Opt for booties or encourage walking on the grass  when the sun shows no mercy.

3. NEVER leave your dog in your car.

We’ve all seen videos of good-hearted civilians busting open car windows to save dogs left in hot cars. Avoid this misfortune by never, ever leaving your dog alone in your car on a hot day.

4. Ice Cubes.

Easy, free, and fun. Freeze pieces of dog-friendly fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and mangos inside for a more tasty treat.

5. A dip in Lake Michigan.

Zip’s personal favorite. We love Edgewater’s Hollywood Beach!



If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after prolonged time outside, callyour vet immediately.

  • Increased heart rate
  • Excessive panting
  • Increased salivation
  • Bright red tongue
  • Red or pale gums
  • Thick, sticky saliva
  • Lethargic
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in stool or a stool that is thick and dark


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