After rugging-up all winter, the time comes to strip off the layers and prepare for summer. This includes preparing your Rottweiler to keep cool in the hot weather. If you need some ideas to get you through the next summer season, this article will give you a number to choose from.
You can keep your Rottweiler cool in summer with water, including plenty to drink and some to play in and cool off. Frozen treats, airflow and shade can also help keep them cool. When outdoors, you should always supervise your Rottweiler, avoid hot surfaces and walk only in the morning or evening.
I have provided a list of these suggestions below so you can choose which will work best for you and your Rottie. It is also important to recognise the signs of overheating, which you can find further down.
How to Keep a Rottweiler Cool in Summer
Rottweilers have a seasonal coat, making them adaptable to hot and cold temperatures. In summer, they shed most of their thick fluffy undercoat, leaving a coat thinner overall. That being said, it is still important to put measures in place to keep your Rottweiler cool.
1. Keep Water Available
You should always have water readily available for your Rottweiler, both inside and out. Keep a close eye on the water levels to make sure that they don't run dry from evaporation and extra water intake. Some owners prefer to use dog bowls with water dispensers for this reason.
Outside water should be kept in a shaded location to help reduce evaporation and to prevent the water from heating up. Some double-walled water bowls (like this one on Amazon) can keep water cooler, but these will still warm up over time. Placing ice cubes in the water is another option.
When on walks, try to bring water for yourself and your Rottweiler. If you also have a collapsible bowl, you can use this to give them a drink whenever they need.
2. Provide Shade or Keep them Inside
Being inside on a hot day is sometimes the coolest option for your Rottweiler, considering inside provides constant shade and air-conditioning (if available). They will inevitably need to go outside at some stage, but having the option to shelter inside will help keep your Rottie cooler.
When going outside, there should be shade available, whether from trees or shade-cloth. Keep in mind that shade will move with the sun, so there may be a time during the day where there is no shade at all (usually when the sun comes in on an angle). You should also stick to shaded areas when walking your Rottweiler.
3. Supervise Outside Play
It is easy to forget how hot it is outside when you are sitting in an air-conditioned room. When your Rottweiler is outside, make sure you supervise them. If you see signs that they are getting too hot, it is best to bring them in or at least cool them down (more suggestions below).
4. Keep Air Flowing Inside the House
Airflow is what carries heat away from our bodies when we sweat. If you don't have air-conditioning, turn on some fans throughout the house to keep the air flowing. At the very least, you could open up the windows or doors.
5. Setup Water Play
There's nothing better than a nice dip in the pool when you're feeling the heat. If you don't have a pool for your Rottie to swim in, you could consider getting a small kiddie (or doggie) pool. These are usually collapsible, like this one (Amazon), so they can go away on colder days.
Another alternative is to turn on the sprinklers for your Rottweiler to play in. Watering the garden can also lower the temperature in your backyard. Most Rotties love playing with the garden hose as well if you prefer to give them a quick hose-down.
6. Use Ice Packs and Frozen Treats
Ice packs (made from frozen water bottles) are a great idea to give your Rottweiler on a hot day. Some may like to lay down on the frozen bottle, while other might prefer to have a lick/chew. Either way, they will find the cold ice very refreshing.
Keep in mind that regular ice-packs can be dangerous if chewed and ingested.
Freezing your Rottweiler's treats and toys is also a good idea if you want to try something different.
7. Use a Spray Bottle or Wet Towels
If you are staying inside and don't want your Rottweiler playing in water, you can always opt for a fine-mist spray bottle. Spraying the pads of their feet or other warm areas on their body can help cool them down (the same way sweat cools the body).
Draping a wet towel over your Rottie's back, or providing a wet towel to lay on can also draw the heat away from their body.
8. Walk in the Mornings and Evenings
You Rottweiler will still need their exercise, even on hot summer days. Therefore, it is best to walk with them in the early morning and/or late evening when the temperature is cooler.
9. Avoid Hot Surfaces
There are many surfaces that can get quite hot in the sun, including pavement, bitumen, synthetic grass and dirt/rocky paths. This can burn the pads on your Rottweiler's paws, which may then damage the sweat glands that live there.
Keeping your Rottweiler on grassy surfaces as much as possible (including in the backyard) can help keep them cool and avoid pain.
How Hot is Too Hot for a Rottweiler?
Assuming you have shade and water available, your Rottweiler can play outside in temperatures over 100 degrees (F), as long as they are supervised. However, as the weather reaches these temperatures, you should limit time outside to a minimum.
Anything below 80 degrees (F) is considered to be safe. If you do not have shade or water outside, anything above this may be too hot for your Rottie. However, you can use any of the above methods to keep your Rottweiler cool.
Signs of an Overheated Rottweiler
Whenever the hot weather sets in, you need to be prepared to recognise signs of overheating or heatstroke in your Rottweiler. This is potentially life-threatening, so if you notice these signs on a hot day, make sure to contact your local vet.
- excessive panting
- excess drooling
- infrequent urination (dehydration)
- rapid pulse
- muscle tremors
- loss of consciousness or unwillingness to stand
- diarrhoea or vomiting