As blue skies and sunny days become the norm during the warmer months, it can cause you to worry about how your furry friend will deal with the heat. After all, Chow Chows are known for their dense double coat that’s been designed to protect them from the extreme cold.
As most Chow owners are aware, our fluffy companions require special attention during the hotter months. Although their coat protects from the sun rays and prevents sunburn, the thickness does not do Chow Chows any favours when it comes to the hot weather. In this blog post we will share the methods we use to keep our Chow Chows cool and happy during the warmer periods of the year.
For those of us that own a Chow Chow, grooming isn’t anything new. However, during the hotter months, grooming can be the difference between your dog overheating or staying cool.
By using a large slicker brush, pin brush, and a metal comb daily, you can prevent your Chow Chow from matting and becoming too hot. Any excess hair can be removed with these brushes, helping your dog when it comes to surviving the heat.
Limiting Outdoor Time
It’s best to avoid letting your Chow Chow outside when temperatures are at their highest. This typically happens during mid-day through the afternoon, so letting them out during the early morning or late evening will help keep them cool.
Sometimes it isn’t always suitable for your chow chow to stay inside, so we recommend cooling aids are applied indoor or outdoors in these cases. (See Damp Towels & Cooling Mats below).
With that being said, if they need to go out, make sure there is a shaded area for them at all times. When this isn’t achievable, short intervals outside few and far between are preferable over long intervals.
Just like us humans, Chows need plenty of water when it’s hot outside. This means you should provide them with easily accessible fresh, clean water. It’s good practice to have 2 bowls that are topped up at all times: one inside your house and one in the garden which is located in a shaded area.
Now, providing your dog water and getting them to actually drink it are two completely different tasks. As the saying goes, “You can lead a Horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. If your Chow Chow isn’t drinking as much as they should be, there are a few options you can try to make sure they stay hydrated.
The first choice is to add flavouring to their water. A trick that has been known for turning a full water bowl to empty. There are a few flavours that you can add, for example low-sodium chicken broth, however it is important to research and consider your Chow Chows specific dietary needs before adding any flavours to there water.
Another option you have is to make dog ice lollies. A fun and easy way to keep them hydrated as well as entertained. There is a wide range of pet ice lolly recipes that you can try; the best approach would be to add ingredients that you know they love and go from there.
Damp Towels & Cooling Mats
One of the ways dogs cool themselves is from the bottom up. That’s why your Chow Chow’s paws and stomach must stay cool.
An easy way to make this happen is to put down some damp towels or cooling mats. Just run the towel under a cold tap and squeeze out all the remaining water afterward.
Obviously, the warm temperature will dry up the towel quickly, so you must remember to keep feeling the towel and run it under water when it needs it.
You also have the option of investing in a cooling mat, which works pretty much the same way and doesn’t require constant maintenance that’s involved with keeping towels damp. This is great for both indoor and outdoor use.
Fans & Aircon units
Although it can sometimes be difficult to keep your Chow Chow in one place, fans are a good method for keeping them cool. The best approach is to place a fan in their favourite sleeping spot.
Most chows are usually not too bothered by fans, so if they’re happy to stay in their usual spot, then the fan will cool them down. And if you have a ceiling fan in their favourite room, then jackpot!
Another idea, is to consider investing in a portable aircon unit. A very effective way of keeping the room cool and does not require for your Chow to be sat directly in front of it.
Walks (Morning and Night)
Like all dogs Chow Chows require daily exercise, but during a heat wave or extremely hot days it maybe still too hot to walk your Chows even in the late evening. It is ok to not walk your Chow Chow every day during the warmer months – it is better to keep them safe from heat exhaustion.
When you do decide to take your Chow for a walk, change your walking routine to either early in the morning or late in the evening. The sun is hottest during midday, so avoid walking them during this time at all costs. It is preferred to walk them early in the morning or late at night.
Although the weather may be cooler at these time, it can still be very humid! Portable water bowls are a convenient and easy way to keep your Chow cool and hydrated when walking them.
Keeping your Chow cool during the warmer months is essential. A combination of the methods we’ve discussed above can help combat overheating, ensuring that they aren’t too uncomfortable throughout spring and summer. Our personal favourite is the cooling mat, as our Chow Chows use these every day through the summer months.