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How to Cool Down a Dog? 5 Ways to Cool Panting Dogs

A cold drink is the quickest way to cool down your dog. Using cool towels or letting your dog play in water can also help cool it down. Dogs pant when they are hot. When your dog starts panting, help them to a cold drink.

Hot summer days are dreadful to bear. Extreme heat can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and heatstroke. 

Dogs get hot faster than humans. Unlike humans, dogs do not have many sweat glands to keep them cool. Most of the sweat glands in your dog are present in the paws, which makes it difficult for them to cool down.

There are various methods you can employ to cool down your dog. This article talks about these methods and discusses steps to prevent your dog from overheating.

How to Cool Down a Dog?

A cold bath, an iced drink, or a cool breeze are some of the most common yet effective ways to cool down a dog. Keeping your dog away from direct sunlight and making it stand in some shade is another way.

Heatstroke is a dangerous condition that requires prompt attention and care. Heatstroke can be fatal if left untreated. 

There are several signs of heatstroke in dogs:

Heatstroke is common among dogs. Overheating can lead to several complications, some of which are fatal. It is important to cool down your dog during the hot summer days.

There are several ways you can cool down your dog. Giving your dog cold water to drink is the best way of doing that. A cool drink will help provide instant relief to your dog. 

Drinking cold water helps regulate the internal body temperature of your dog, making your dog cool down faster.

5 Ways of Cooling Your Dog

The fastest ways to cool down your dog include a chilled drink, a cold bath, playing in the water, air conditioning, and a wet towel.

Cooling your dog down is vital, especially on extremely hot summer days. You can use several methods to cool down your dog. Some of these are listed below.

1. Give Your Dog a Cold Drink

Give Your Dog a Cold Drink

Nothing works to beat the heat faster than a big gulp of chilled water. If your dog is panting heavily and dehydrating, give it some water. Drinking cold water helps cool your dog from the inside out.

Excessive heat leads to dehydration which is a serious issue. Drinking water helps rehydrate your dog. 

Do not give your dog too much water to drink, especially in the case of heatstroke[1]. Drinking water too fast can lead to bloat in dogs. Make sure your dog drinks water slowly and in small gulps, regardless of how thirsty your dog is.

2. Give Your Dog a Cold Bath

Give Your Dog a Cold Bath

After running in the severe heat, a nice cold bath can do wonders. A cold bath or a shower helps cool down your dog quickly and provides comfort. Do not use iced water for bathing your dog. Ice baths are not healthy for dogs.

When dogs get wet, the wet fur releases any trapped heat under the coat, further cooling your dog down. Note your pooch’s body temperature while bathing it. Once its temperature reaches approximately 102⁰ F[3], dry your dog down to prevent further heat loss.

3. Let Your Dog Play in Water

Let Your Dog Play in Water

Dogs sweat through their paws[2]. If you notice a lake or a pond nearby, let your dog stand in it. This allows your dog to cool down quickly. Check whether the water is hot.

If the water is cold, you can let your dog enjoy it. If not, do not let your dog stand in hot water, as it can accelerate overheating and lead to heatstroke.

4. Allow Your Dog Some Air Condition

Allow Your Dog Some Air Condition

If your dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, take it indoors to an air-conditioned room. If you don’t have air conditioning available, an electric fan is a good substitute. Cold tiles and wooden floors are also great alternatives for cooling your dog.

5. Give Your Dog a Wet Towel

Give Your Dog a Wet Towel

Another method you can use to cool down your dog is a wet towel. Soak a towel in mildly cold water and cover your dog with it. You can also pat your dog with a towel if the water is too cold.

Small dogs cool down faster than large dogs. Check the body temperature of your pooch and stop using the towel once you reach the ideal temperature.

What Causes Your Dog to Overheat?

Hot environments, thick fur, and extensive workouts are the most common reasons for overheating in dogs. Avoid letting your dog play outside too much on hot summer days, as it can lead to dehydration and heatstroke.

Dogs are born with a fur coat which is a great feature to stay warm in the winter. During summertime, this coat adds to the heat and makes dogs feel hotter than humans. Dogs with long thick coats are more likely to suffer from overheating than dogs with small coats.

Dehydration is a big issue for dogs, especially during the summer season. Cooling down your dog is important, as overheating can cause severe medical problems that can be life-threatening.

There are some steps you can take to ensure your dog does not overheat:

  • Avoid letting your pup play under the sun for long hours on hot days.
  • Keep your dog hydrated with small water breaks every now and then.
  • Do not take your dog out for long walks in summer, as it can lead to heatstroke.
  • Use a hose or a shower to cool your dog if you notice any signs of overheating.
  • Keep an eye out for any unusual behavior in your dog and take the necessary steps to stop it.

Take your dog to a veterinarian if the overheating becomes severe or if your dog develops a heatstroke.


To cool down a dog, provide it with cold water, a cold bath, let it play in the water, turn on the AC, or wrap it in a wet towel. This helps cool them down, reducing the risk of heatstroke. Observe your dog’s behavior and consult a veterinarian if your dog starts panting heavily or collapses.


Why is My Dog Panting in Heat?

Dogs pant in heat to cool their bodies. They do not have many sweat glands, and most of these glands are in their paws. Panting is their way of regulating their internal body temperature. Dogs also pant due to pain, stress, anxiety, or fear. Visit a veterinarian if the panting persists or if it gets worse.

How to Cool Down a Panting Dog?

Chilled drinks work the fastest in cooling down a panting dog. Make sure not to let your dog gulp a large amount of water while panting. This makes air enter the stomach leading to bloat. Giving small quantities of water to your dog is the right method to cool it down.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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