How to Keep a Dog Cool Inside the House? (Without AC)

Photo of three dogs with diving goggles and a rubber duck. How to Keep a Dog Cool Inside the House.

When the heat bears down on your home and your dog, you’ll want to be ready to deal with it! Here are some tips and suggestions on how to keep a dog cool inside the house!

Keeping your dog cool inside your home will be about making minor changes to your home’s layout. Take up rugs that cover cool, tile floors, and allow them in the bathroom for the porcelain tubs. Keep your curtains drawn in the hottest hours, and run fans to keep the airflow moving. Consider putting down a cooling mat for your dog, or a wet towel, if you can. Lastly, refresh your dog’s water regularly. Below are all the details you’ll want to know to help your dog beat the heat.

Can dogs overheat in the house?

It’s definitely possible for dogs to overheat in the house. You’ll want to take serious steps to help your dog stay cool in the heat! The ambient temperature in a home can rise so high that it takes only a bit of exercise for your dog to overheat. 

You’ll want to keep your home cool enough for their comfort (as well as your own) for your dog to not get heat stroke simply by walking across the room to his water dish.

Overheating is also possible if there is no airflow and your dog is lying in direct sunlight.

How can I cool my dog down when indoors?

Most people know that they have to keep their dog inside when it’s hot outside, but what about when it’s hot inside? Here are the ultimate tips for helping your dog stay cool!

  • Take up rugs and mats
  • Allow your dog into your bathroom
  • Close your curtains
  • Keep a fan running and oscillating 
  • Buy a cooling mat or use a wet towel
  • Keep your dog’s water fresh and cool

Take up rugs and mats

You’ll want to take up small and large rugs in your home, particularly those that cover cool, tile floors. Dogs will love lying on the cool tile during the day’s heat.

Allow your dog into your bathroom

This sounds weird, but remember what’s in your bathroom: your bathtub or shower. This cool “den” is going to be perfect for your dog to enjoy some literal cool surroundings that will help them lower their own temperature.

Close your curtains

You should ideally have thick blackout curtains, which also press out the heat. Whether you do or don’t, close them to keep the direct sunlight out. 

Keep a fan running and oscillating 

Having air running and moving will help push back some of the heat and help wick away moisture on your dog’s exposed paws. It can help ruffle their fur, too, which is thought to help them enjoy at least more comfort.

Buy a cooling mat or use a wet towel

A cooling mat or a wet towel is going to be great for helping them get cool quickly. They’ll lie on it and enjoy the surface sucking the warmth right out of them! Below, we’ll talk about how to choose the right cooling mat!

Keep your dog’s water fresh and cool

Lastly, keep your dog content with water that will be fresh and cool (but not cold). Regularly change the water; fresh water will encourage your dog to drink since they prefer running water over stagnant water.

Can dogs live in a house without air conditioning?

Air conditioning has been around for far fewer years than owning dogs in the summer season. Dogs can easily and safely live in a house without air conditioning, but you will want to always be aware of how warm the ambient temperature is getting. The beauty is this: if you’re hot, they’re definitely hot! So, start making adjustments when you start to feel warm.

How can I keep my dog cool without AC?

As mentioned above, you can keep your dog cool by keeping direct sunlight off your dog, helping them find cool surfaces, such as the bathtub or tile flooring, and providing them with cold water. Remember that just because your house doesn’t naturally have an air conditioner doesn’t mean that they’re automatically going to overheat!

Do fans help dogs cool down?

Some say that fans won’t have any impact on dogs, but others disagree. The general consensus is that they can help keep the airflow moving, which will help ruffle the dog’s fur. The thinner their fur, the more they can feel the airflow and feel better. Thinning your dog’s fur will help them enjoy more comfort in the summer months.

White dog in front of a fan.

What is the fastest way to cool down a dog?

If your dog has come into the house, obviously overheated, you’ll want to know how to cool him off properly as quickly as possible!

Firstly, give him lots of fresh cool water. Don’t give him cold water, as we’ll discuss later, but you can give him cool water. Give him those water on a tile floor or other flooring that helps his paws sweat and cool him down.

The other thing to do is to put down a wet towel or a cooling mat. Allow him to go and find it himself, or lead him to it if you want to. If he needs to, he’ll lie on it until he’s okay. Don’t force your dog to get onto or off it. They’ll regulate their temperature on their own and will move when they are ready to do so!

What temperature is too hot for a dog in a house?

Generally, the house is pretty warm for your dog if it’s above 68-74 degrees F (20-23 degrees C). This isn’t dangerous immediately, so don’t panic. It means your dog should get some cool water and relaxation after vigorous exercise in the house if it’s above those temperatures.

Will a wet towel cool my dog down?

As discussed above, a wet towel will help cool your dog down. Make sure it’s large enough for your dog to lie on. A beach towel is a great idea. Don’t freeze the towel or line it with ice cubes. Soak it in cold water, wring it out, and then lay it on the floor for your dog to lie on comfortably.

Can you put ice packs on dogs?

No, don’t ever put ice packs directly on your dog. They can constrict your dog’s blood vessels and make them feel warmer instead of cooler. This can lead them into — no lie — hypothermia and cause them to need emergency vet care. 

Remember that cooling vets and scarves are safe for your dog, assuming that they’ve been designed specifically for your dog. These won’t put your dog’s health at risk and can help cool them down quickly and efficiently as an alternative to a wet towel.

How do you know if your dog is too hot or cold?

Dogs are very competent at regulating their own temperatures, happily. However, you can look for signs of being too cold or hot.

A dog that is too cold will curl up in a ball and hide their head under their tail. They might even tuck their feet in under themselves. They also may intentionally hug close to you or try to get under the blankets of your bed. Shivering is possible if they get so cold that it happens.

When a dog is hot, they’ll lie flat out, often on their backs or sides, to let heat dissipate from their bellies. They’ll often find tile flooring and simply lie there, still, as they cool down. Of course, there will be panting and searching for water to help further.

Heat stroke is the thing that you’ll want to watch for in your dog. It can set in quickly, and it isn’t always easy to detect, especially since dogs tend to hide their symptoms and reaction from humans. Common signs of heat stroke include:

  • Rapid and loud breathing
  • Extreme or frequently vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Bright red tongue and gums
  • Thick, white saliva

If you notice any of these, bring your dog to the vet to have them checked. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, you’ll never want to take the chance of missing something. Heat stroke can be fatal, and it can be difficult for a vet to do much once it sets in enough for many to notice severe symptoms.

Do dogs sleep more when hot?

Yes, dogs often will sleep more when they are hot. This is not because it helps them cool off, but because they’ll want to stay still for long periods, making them bored. They’ll often doze off and on while lying still to cool down.

What kind of dog cooling mat should I get?

When you are looking at buying a dog cooling mat, there are a few things that you’ll want to focus on. One of the most important things to focus on is the size! Get one they can stretch out on entirely without feeling like one of their limbs is hanging off. 

Secondly, don’t get something designed for humans or even cats. You’ll want to get one designed specifically for dogs. Vets, breeders, and pet shop owners can suggest what to get. Some mats will be designed for cats or dogs, so those are okay. However, traditional cat-designed mats will be too small, and human mats may cool your dog off so much that they’re uncomfortable! Get a dog-approved mat!

In general

Dogs can get too hot in the summer, even inside the house. Keeping your dog cool on a hot day inside your home will be as good for you as it will be for them! By keeping them cool, they will be able to avoid dangers like dehydration and heat stroke.

Top tips include taking up rugs and mats to allow your dog into your bathroom (and tub), closing your curtains during hot hours, and keeping a fan running and oscillating for airflow. You can also consider buying a cooling mat or offering a wet towel for them to lie on.

These tips will help both you and your furry companion beat the heat. Know someone with a new dog that will find this helpful? Share this with them!

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Sara Santos

Writer, Editor and member of the Council, I am a dog person and I thrive to get the answers that will help you provide the best care a dog can have. You can also find me on my personal blog here.