How To Keep A German Shepherd Cool (23 Do’s & Don’ts)

Knowing how to keep a german shepherd cool is vital for the health and happiness of your pet. In this article, you’re going to find out the best ways to keep your German shepherd cool, as well as some things you’re definitely going to want to avoid.

We’ll also touch on heatstroke, what to look for and what to do. And lastly, some of the best products for keeping your pup cool when it’s hot.

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Short On Time?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick list of all the ways you can keep them cool.

What To Do
  • Make sure they always have shade available.
  • Keep fresh water available for them.
  • Give them a paddling pool.
  • Entertain them indoors.
  • Give them damp towels to lie on.
  • Fill a hot water bottle with cold water.
  • Keep the garden sprinkler on.
  • Groom them regularly.
  • Give them cooling treats.
  • Mist their feet and face.
  • Check for symptoms of overheating.
  • Keep cool air circulating.
  • Add ice cubes to their water dish.
  • Give them an elevated bed.
  • Put sunscreen on their nose.
  • Work on keeping them at a healthy weight.
What Not To Do
  • Avoid cutting their hair.
  • Don’t walk them on hot sidewalks.
  • Avoid walking them during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Never leave them in a hot car.
  • Keep them out of greenhouses and conservatories.
  • Avoid long car journeys.
  • Make sure it’s not too humid.
  • Don’t keep them outside for too long.

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How To Keep A German Shepherd Cool

Keeping your german shepherd cool isn’t hard when you follow the advice you’re about to read. So keep reading to get a more detailed idea of what you’re supposed to do.

Make Sure They Have Enough Shade

Making sure your german shepherd has enough shade is vital to keeping them cool. Without shaded areas they can retreat to, they’re going to overheat extremely quickly. When choosing a shaded area, you need to make sure the shade will remain constant, no matter the angle of the sun.

If you don’t have this in your garden, then consider setting up a parasol or something similar, and when you’re out and about, it may be best to avoid large open areas.

This is especially important for german shepherds. Because of their dark color, they absorb heat from the sun much more than lighter dogs. Which means they’ll end up overheating quicker.

Make Sure They Have Access To Fresh Water

You should also make sure your german shepherd has constant access to fresh water. In the heat of the sun, they can become dehydrated and overheated extremely quickly. Freshwater, will help keep them hydrated as well as cool them down internally.

It’s best to place the water in shaded areas. Not only is this going to help keep it cooler for longer, but it’s also going to encourage your german shepherd to stay in the shade.

Give Them A Paddling Pool

If your german shepherd likes water, then they’re going to love a paddling pool in their garden. This is one of the best ways to keep them cool on a hot day. It’s also going to have the added benefit of keeping them entertained when they’re on their own as well!

When picking a paddling pool, make sure you pick one that can withstand their paws. So it’s best not to use an inflatable one.

If you want to know how to get your german shepherd to like water, then check out this article!

Try Playing With Them Indoors

When it’s extremely hot outside, sometimes it can be a good idea to keep your german shepherd inside.

However, to keep them entertained (and not energetic) you’ll need to keep playing with them. Fortunately, there are lots of fun games you can play.

My favorite is tug of war. A good 15 minutes will tire you AND your dog out. However, if you don’t want to play tug of war, you can also hide treats for your german shepherd or play hide and seek with them.

Both of which are going to exercise their minds as well as their bodies.

Put Down Damp Towels To Lie On

If your german shepherd spends most of their time outdoors, then this is another way to keep them cool.

Putting down damp towels gives them the benefit of keeping cool, however, it’ll also help stop them from being so wet that they make a mess indoors.

And of course, when you’re putting damp towels down, make sure you place them in the shade so they stay colder for longer. You can ever place ice cubes in between the layers to keep the towels colder for longer!

Fill A Hot Water Bottle With Cold Water

Filling a hot water bottle with cold water can also help to keep your german shepherd cool. They’re designed to keep the temperature in. So if it’s hot it’s going to stay hot for a long time, however, when it’s cold it’s also going to stay cold for a long time.

If you have a hot water bottle handy, it can be a great way to keep your german shepherd cool.

However, just be cautious, your german shepherd has sharp claws and if they try to rip it up, they won’t have a hard time doing so.

Turn Your Garden Sprinklers On

If you have garden sprinklers, why not leave them running throughout the day?

This is going to keep the temperature in your garden nice and cool. And if your german shepherd is getting too hot, they can go directly underneath the water.

Obviously there are also some downsides. One such downside is the fact that it can be a waste of water, and in some states, you may not be allowed to do this.

The other problem is that at some point, you’re going to have to let a soaking wet german shepherd into your home. So if you’re not careful, dirt could end up getting everywhere.

Charone, left, and Vulcan, 86th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, eat dog-friendly cupcakes after their retirement ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, May 18, 2019. Charone and Vulcan retired due to medical issues, and in keeping with U.S. Air Force tradition, the 86th SFS honored Charone and Vulcan with a retirement ceremony which highlighted their achievements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

Freeze Food To Keep Them Cool

If you want to give your german shepherd a little treat, then freezing some food is going to do this. Plus it’s also going to keep them cool!

There are so many different types of frozen food you can give them, and they’re going to love all of it.

Carrots, apples, strawberries, watermelon, and even peanut butter can all be frozen! When they’re given to your german shepherd in moderation they also make a healthy treat.

Make Sure You’re Grooming Them Regularly

You should be grooming your german shepherd regularly anyway, but in the summer it’s even more important. By removing any excess fur from their coat, you’ll make their coat thinner, which keeps them cooler.

As well as this, if their fur is matted or knotted, it’s going to trap heat. So once again, removing these areas are going to keep your german shepherd cooler as well.

It may be a good idea to take your german shepherd to a groomer before the summer begins. (Just makes sure you’re not shaving your german shepherd.)

Mist Their Face And Paws

If you’re inside with your german shepherd, and you think they’re getting too hot, then try misting their face and paws. It’s another fantastic way to keep them cool, and it doesn’t make much of a mess.

Misting their paws is especially effective. Their paws are one of the few areas they can sweat from, so misting them is really going to help.

Consider Putting Suncream On Their Nose

While this may not directly cool them down in hot weather, it’s something you’re going to want to consider.

Your german shepherd’s nose is very sensitive to the sun and it can get burnt. In fact, just like us, german shepherds can also get skin cancer.

There are many different sun creams to choose from. If you’re not sure then my personal recommendation is Epi-Pet.

Keep Cool Air Circulating In Your Home

If you’re keeping your german shepherd inside, then you should make sure cool air is circulating throughout your house.

Keeping windows and doors open where possible is your best bet, however, using fans can also be effective.

When you’re at home, try to keep your backdoor and front windows open. This way air can continuously circulate through your home. Moving cool air in and pushing hotter air out.

Add Ice Cubes To Their Water Bowl

If you’re in a hurry adding ice cubes to their water bowl can be a quick way to cool your german shepherd down.

Just make sure when you’re doing this, they don’t drink too much. Drinking too much cold water too quickly isn’t good for your german shepherd.

Buy An Elevated Bed

Elevated beds provide extra cooling as they’re not absorbing hear from the ground. Instead, the temperature of the bed will stay more consistent with your german shepherd’s body temperature (which is also why they’re great in the winter).

And if you want to make the bed even colder you can add a bowl of ice or something similar underneath to cool the air below the bed.

They’re a great alternative and a worthwhile investment for any german shepherd that’s kept outside for extended periods of time.

(If your german shepherd is hot at night you might also notice them panting.)

Make Sure They’re A Healthy Weight

If your dog is overweight then they’re going to get hot a lot more easily. This is because they have trouble regulating their body.

However, make sure your german shepherd isn’t losing too much body weight at once. Before you put your german shepherd on a diet, make sure you consult your vet.

As a rule of thumb, they should be losing between 1-2% of their body weight a week.

What Should You Avoid Doing

As well as certain things you can do to help your german shepherd stay cool, there are definitely a few things you’re going to want to avoid doing as well.

Doing any of the things below will not only cause discomfort to your german shepherd, but they could potentially be damaging.

Don’t Shave Them

So many people question whether they should shave their german shepherd when it’s hot. And the answer is a huge NO.

German shepherds aren’t supposed to be shaved. Mainly because they have a double coat. And once their double coat has been shaved, it may not grow in properly.

If you think there’s something wrong with your german shepherd then take them to the vets. There are rare times that a german shepherd may need to be shaved, and your vet will know when!

(Check out this article to learn all the reasons you should avoid shaving your german shepherd.)

Avoid Hot Sidewalks

When it’s hot outside, you should also avoid sidewalks. Especially when the sun is beating down on them.

As a test, try putting your hand on the ground and feeling how hot it is. If it’s too hot to keep your hand in contact with it for 20 seconds, then it’s too hot for your german shepherd to be walking on.

In severe cases, your german shepherd can end up burning the pads on their paws, which can be extremely painful for them.

Avoid The Hottest Parts Of The Day

It’s generally best to keep your dog indoors between 11-3. This is the hottest part of the day, so obviously the part of the day when they’re mostly going to feel the heat.

In fact, this year where I lived, some dogs died of heatstroke when they were being walked at midday.

Even drinking water alone isn’t enough to keep them cool. So make sure you’re giving your german shepherd plenty of shade and cool areas during the hottest part of the day. And definitely don’t take them for a walk.

Don’t Leave Them In A Hot Car

We have all heard this advice a hundred times, but it’s something that can’t be said too many times. Make sure you’re not leaving your german shepherd in a hot car.

Sometimes it only takes a few minutes for the damage to be done and the results can often be fatal.

When you see a dog in a hot car, make sure you call the emergency services, they will advise you what to do next.

Remember if you cause damage to the car unnecessarily, you may end up convicted with criminal charges.

As a side note, make sure you’re not keeping them in confined spaces either.

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Avoid Greenhouses And Conservatories

As well as hot cars, you should also make sure you’re avoiding greenhouses and conservatories as well.

Both of these can also become extremely hot, extremely quickly. Again, heatstroke can happen very rapidly in dogs, especially german shepherds, so on hot days keep them out of the greenhouse, conservatories and anything similar.

Avoid Long Car Journeys When Possible

Any sort of hot car isn’t good for your german shepherd, even if you’re in it as well. When possible avoid long car journeys.

If you do have to drive a long way, make sure you keep the AC on. Or if you can’t do that makes sure there’s a good breeze coming in.

It only takes a traffic jam, for a car journey to become dangerous for a german shepherd.

And obviously, make sure you’re packing plenty of water as well.

Humidity Can Become An Issue

It’s not just heat that can pose a danger to german shepherds, but also humidity. When it’s too humid panting may not cool down your german shepherd enough.

If your house often becomes humid, you can try adding a dehumidifier to take some of the moisture out of the air.

Limit Their Time Outside

Make sure you’re limiting your german shepherds time outside. You already know to avoid 11-3 but the hours before and after them can be too hot if your german shepherd is outside for too long.

So during the hotter months, don’t keep your german shepherd outside for too long, and make sure they’re not doing anything too strenuous either.

And don’t count on your german shepherd to stop when they’re too hot. As bright as they are, they’re not going to stop having fun because they’re too hot.

Heatstroke In German Shepherds

Heatstroke in german shepherds is very serious, and should not be overlooked. When heatstroke sets in, it can often be minutes before it becomes fatal. Fortunately, if you take the precautions above then you’re going to help prevent heatstroke occurring.

However, sometimes it can still happen. If you notice symptoms like heavy panting, excessive saliva, lack of coordination and loss of consciousness then your german shepherd may have heatstroke.

If you notice any of the symptoms of heatstroke in your german shepherd then you need to take them to the vets as soon as possible.

What Products Are Good For Keeping German Shepherds Cool?

Lastly, there are some products you can use that will also keep your german shepherd cool, and they’re also relatively inexpensive. Cooling vests, dog water fountains, and cooling dog beds are all great options that can keep your german shepherd nice and cold on a hot day!

(Now you know how to cool your german shepherd, but did you know german shepherds can get too cold?)

Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)


Now you know all the ways to keep your german shepherd cool (And all the ways you’re definitely going to want to avoid).

Remember, your german shepherd is going to get hotter a lot quicker than you or me. In a lot of cases, uses more than one of the methods above is your best choice!

If you liked this article make sure to check out the rest of the website. Otherwise, have a great day.


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