How To Keep Your Whippet Cool In Summer

When you think of whippets and the weather, if you own one, you know they have a definite aversion for the cold.

Whippets are very sensitive to the cold because they have very little body fat to trap heat and they also have a short, smooth, but dense coat.

Just because your whippet likes to be bundled up under a blanket and snuggling with you on cold days doesn’t necessarily mean they can tolerate excessive heat.

My whippet, Bonnie and I live in the Northeast, where winters can be snowy, frigid and downright brutal.

This past summer, however, was quite a challenge. It was an extremely hot and humid summer.

You and your whippet may have experienced the same obstacles or you may even live in a year-round much warmer climate.

I had to make some important changes so that both Bonnie and I would be comfortable during the long hot summer.

I’m going to share some very good ideas for how to keep your whippet cool in summer.

Why Is Keeping Your Whippet Cool Important?

When the weather turns hot and humid, we as humans struggle; some more than others. We sweat.

The air feels heavy and it sometimes makes us feel breathless. Things are no different for our dogs.

Dogs sweat through their merocrine sweat glands, located in their paw pads.

how to keep your whippet cool
Image: Dave Gershkoff

When your whippet is hot these are activated to cool them down.

Even though they possess these sweat glands it is very important to keep your whippet cool and comfortable so they don’t become ill or suffer from heatstroke.

The heat and humidity can wreak havoc on their delicate systems.

Panting plays a role in cooling your whippet down by evaporating moisture from their nasal passages, tongues and the airways of their lungs.

Fur insulates to keep dogs warm in winter but also cool in summer.

Fur captures the air to keep out the cold and also the heat. Whippets don’t have a whole lot of fur so they are more susceptible to the effects of heat and cold.

We must accommodate our little darlings in other ways to help keep them cool so they don’t suffer from any type of heat ailments.

Dogs Die In Hot Cars

It takes only between fifteen and twenty minutes for an animal to die when left in a hot car that can quickly become an oven in hot weather.

A dog’s body temperature can exceed 105.8 in a very short time. You think you are only going to be gone a few minutes and have the windows cracked.

It only takes a few minutes for the temperature to rise rapidly in an almost closed up car.

The outdoor temperature doesn’t even have to be 100 degrees in the heat of the afternoon for a dog to die. Even in the morning, the heat in a car can rise quickly.

The inside of a car can easily be twenty degrees hotter than outside, making a 75-degree morning a sweltering 95-degree bake oven in the interior of a car. It’s just not worth the chance.

Take your little bundle of love with you while running errands or leave them at home on hot days.

How To Keep Your Whippet Nice And Cool

The first way to keep your whippet nice and cool is by avoiding the heat altogether. Stay indoors when it is the hottest outside.

Let your whippet have an extra siesta during the heat of the midday sun in an air-conditioned room.

Air conditioning or a fan will be a big help but just don’t let your little pal get too cold by setting your air conditioner too low.

Get some exercise time during the early morning hours when temperatures are cooler or in the evening after the sun has set.

If it’s just too darn hot at those times, skip the exercise or throw a ball or toy around in the air conditioning.

Fresh cool water should be available at all times to keep your whippet well hydrated.

If you do take your dog for a ride or to a park, bring a thermos with a bowl so that they always can have some cool water.

This is no different for us humans who rarely go anywhere without our water bottles.

A wonderful addition for cooling as well as exercise are some fun water activities.

Hoping that your whippet likes the water, a children’s pool or a sprinkler are two excellent ideas for the both of you! It can also provide a great photo session.

Cooling vests are another option for feeling comfortable on a hot sticky day while outdoors.

Some are made from chamois and by submerging them in water, they will keep your pup cool for hours by retaining the water.

Purchasing a cooling mat is yet another good idea for keeping cool.

Your whippet can lay on it as long as they like and if they feel too cool can just move to another location.

Lastly, another excellent source for hydration is watermelon. By all means, please ask your veterinarian if it’s alright in case your dog has any dietary restrictions, but it’s perfectly safe.

I would recommend the seedless or removing the seeds. They can be a danger by blocking the intestinal tract but otherwise, it’s safe.

Also, don’t overdo it. Too much of a good thing isn’t good, but as a refreshing treat, your whippet will love it!

How To Tell If Your Whippet Is Overheating

Excessive heat and humidity can make your whippet or any dog sick.

When your dog’s temperature rises, causing them to overheat, it can lead to heat stress, exhaustion or heatstroke, which can be fatal.

Some symptoms of heatstroke are:

  • body temperature over 105 F
  • bright red gums
  • lethargy
  • restlessness
  • lack of appetite
  • panting heavily
  • excessive thirst
  • rapid heartbeat
  • lack of coordination
  • bloody diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • seizures

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, call your veterinarian and either place them in a tub of cool water or place a towel soaked in cool water over your dog until they can receive medical attention.

What To Consider

There are a few other things to consider when trying to keep your Whippet cool in hot weather.

Remember that dogs can also become sunburned, especially whippets with light or white pigment on their nose or ears.

They can suffer from the burn just as we do but they are unable to voice their complaints.

how to keep your whippet cool in summer
Image: John Goucher

If they must be in the sun, you can purchase doggie sunscreen but also be aware that too much sun can also lead to heatstroke.

Your pup can also get burned paw pads on hot sidewalks and asphalt driveways, so try to stick to the grass.

Chances are, you won’t be able to see it but it can lead to limping, chewing, licking and blisters, that could very well become infected.

Final Thoughts

Well, Bonnie and I have survived the summer and I hope some of these tips have helped you on how to keep your whippet cool in summer.

You just need to use some common sense and keep your little cuddle bug cool by keeping them hydrated, out of hot cars and the hot sun and have fun but in different ways while heat and humidity are on the rise.

Bonnie thought of one more tip. She said since she looks so smart in her winter coat and rain slicker, perhaps a fashionable sunhat would be a great idea to beat the heat!

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