As the summer months get closer it becomes increasingly important to ensure your cocker spaniel remains safe and comfortable throughout the hot weather.
What you’ll learn in this article:
- How cocker spaniels tolerate hot weather
- What temperature is too hot for a cocker spaniel
- Ways to keep a cocker spaniel cool in summer
- Important signs to know (dehydration & heatstroke)
- Whether cocker spaniels can live in hot countries or not
Let’s get into it!
Cocker Spaniels & Hot Weather
Something many owners need to consider is the safety of their cocker spaniel (English or American) throughout the summer months.
Cocker spaniels are known to struggle during periods of particularly hot weather, and so it becomes important that we’re there to keep them cool and comfortable.
While all cocker spaniels are said to have single coats, the American cocker spaniel has a longer slightly thicker coat compared to their English cousins.
This makes it a little tougher for American cocker spaniels to remain cool throughout hot weather.
- Ultimately, cocker spaniels are certainly a breed that needs extra attention when the temperatures start rising. Let’s discuss temperature tolerance below.
What Temperature Is Too Hot For a Cocker Spaniel
There are some general safety guidelines we can always stick to, but it’s crucial to understand that all spaniels will have their own tolerance.
Cocker spaniels that come from a generation of spaniels living in hot climates, will naturally adapt better during summer, than those recently brought to a hot region.
Cocker spaniel temperature tolerance:
- Ideal temperature – 10C – 16C
- Moderate temperature – 16C – 23C
- Risk of & dehydration heatstroke – 23C and above
Anything temperature above 16C (60F) is when it starts getting a little uncomfortable for most spaniels, but still, this is certainly within their tolerance.
As soon as the temperatures reach the mid 20C (77F) this is when dehydration and heatstroke become a real danger.
At these temperatures, it’s important owners take proactive measures in keeping their spaniel cool. Let’s discuss the best ways to do this below.
Ways To Keep a Cocker Spaniel Cool In Summer
The best ways to keep your cocker spaniel cool in hot weather.
1. Elevated cooling bed
Elevated cooling beds are simple, inexpensive and they just work! Not only that but they’re comfortable for dogs of all sizes.
The beds are lightweight and perfect for moving around the yard or even inside your home.
These beds are lifted off the ground 6-10 inches, and the bed material is similar to that of a trampoline: perforated and breathable.
This breathable material combined with being lifted off the ground allows your spaniel to expel a lot of body heat from their underbelly. This works wonders to keep them cool!
So simple, yet so effective.
- This is a highly recommended cooling bed from Coolaroo on Amazon. Check it out here (Amazon)
2. Avoid hot walking surfaces
The paw pads on your cocker spaniel are very sensitive to temperature, and it happens to be the first point of contact with the ground.
Surfaces like concrete, tarmac, sand, and certain types of wood can get extremely hot, to the point they could burn your spaniel’s pads.
Walking on hot surfaces will keep your spaniel feeling hotter than necessary, not to mention, that a burn would require veterinary attention.
Consider your spaniel’s walking surfaces in your yard and when you take them out for walks.
If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws!
3. Ice cubes & ice treats
An effective, yet temporary way to provide some relief from the hot weather is with ice cubes and ice treats.
Our favorite way to keep our dogs hydrated and drinking enough is to make their water bowl into a game.
By placing a few ice cubes or infused ice cubes, it can really get your spaniel drinking more. While playing and trying to catch the ice cube they will inevitably drink a considerable amount of water.
Remaining hydrated is key, as I’ll explain below.
You can infuse ice cubes with chicken broth, meat broth, peanut butter (dog friendly), and even banana.
These make for excellent treats too!
You can also freeze peeled bananas whole for a tasty cooling chew treat.
Albeit temporary relief, your spaniel will definitely love it!
4. Exercise at the right times
Regardless of the weather outside, exercise remains to be extremely important and can’t be skipped.
So to avoid heatstroke and dehydration, we have to exercise our pups at the right times of the day.
During the hottest months, it’s crucial to avoid the midday heat and walk your spaniel early morning and late evening.
It sounds simple, but doing this will keep your spaniel feeling healthy, active, and full of life.
The quickest way to cause heatstroke or illness is to exercise your spaniel midday during the hottest times.
So while they might look excited about a walk at any moment, it’s crucial to keep it to early mornings and late evenings.
5. Don’t allow sunbathing
Similar to avoiding the midday heat, it’s crucial to dissuade your spaniel from sunbathing outside in the yard.
Although we love to spend outside in the hottest part of the day, we have to pay attention to where our dogs are.
If the temperature is around 30C (86F) then it’s best they stay indoors altogether.
If the temperature is below this, then it’s fine for them to be outside by they must remain in the shade, on an elevated bed, or damp towel.
Avoid midday sunshine at all costs.
6. Provide more water bowls
Hydration hydration hydration. It’s everything when trying to keep cool!
Keeping your spaniel sufficiently hydrated will give their bodies the best chance are effectively regulating their own body temperature.
The problem is that dogs rarely drink as much as they should…
From not having enough water bowls, to having mucky warm water or even an empty bowl, there are many reasons why dogs don’t drink as much as they should.
One thing we tried with our dogs is to provide multiple water bowls upstairs, downstairs, and around the yard. We also kept them refreshed and topped up with clean water.
By doing this alone we noticed our dogs drinking a considerable amount more. This is so crucial to avoid dehydration, heatstroke, and illness (diarrhea) and keep them cool.
- One of our favorite large 1 gallon water bowls for dogs (amazon). This is perfect to avoid an empty water bowl.
7. Damp towels
Laying down damp towels (outside or on tile floors) is an excellent way to keep your spaniel cool on even the hottest of days.
Damp towels will absorb their heat and keep them cool in temperatures of 30C and above.
This is perhaps more effective than a cooling bed, but of course, it can get a little messy especially if you want to do this inside.
If you’re having a yard day, lay down a damp towel in the shade for your spaniel and they’ll remain cool no matter what. Pop down a few ice cube treats for good measure and that’s it!
Signs of Canine Dehydration & Heatstroke
Knowing the signs of canine dehydration & heatstroke will help you be proactive in keeping your spaniel safe on extremely hot days.
Signs of canine dehydration:
- Lack of elasticity in the skin
- Sticky saliva and gums
- Excessive panting
- Hot body to touch
- Dry nose
- Sunken eyes
Source: Animal Emergency Center
Signs of canine heatstroke:
Please note that heatstroke is far more serious than dehydration and may warrant veterinary attention. Dehydration will always come first before heatstroke, despite being two different things.
- Sticky saliva and gums
- Bright pink gums
- excessive panting
- Fainting or collapse
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Head shaking
- Increased heart rate
Preventing dehydration in the first place will help to reduce the chance of heat stroke, but please know that heatstroke could still happen if your spaniel is outside in the direct sunshine at temperatures above 30C (86F).
If you notice signs of heatstroke, it’s important to call your veterinarian right away for immediate advice over the phone. In some cases, it may be required to take your spaniel to the vet.
Can Spaniels Live In Hot Countries?
Yes, spaniels can live in hot countries.
As long as owners help to keep their spaniel cool, spaniels can live in any country.
We regularly speak with spaniel owners from areas like India, Australia, Southern California and even South East Asia…
Spaniels can live in hot countries, we just need to assist them and ensure they remain cool and comfortable!
Check out more Cocker Spaniel articles!