How to Keep Your Dog Cool this Summer

Summer is creeping up on us and the first thought in all of our minds, is we cannot wait to be in the outdoors all summer long.

The season of summer is a happy and fun time for everyone, including you and your dog.

Despite the heat, dogs love to play outdoors.

Although this is great that your dog is having the time of their life running around on the beach or in your backyard, summer safety is to be taken seriously.

It is your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure your dog is kept cool and comfortable this summer.

Keep in mind that your dog does not sweat the way you do when you start to overheat. They do sweat a small amount through the pads on their feet, however, primarily they cool off by panting.

When it is extremely hot and humid, panting is not enough for your dog to cool themselves down. Alternative cooling methods must be used to ensure your dog can efficiently cool down.

Here are some ways to help your dog cool off during the heat of summer.

dog drinking from waterbottle

Fresh, Cool Water

It is crucial that you have fresh, cool water available for your dog at all times. Ensure your dog’s water dish is kept in a shady location and that you change and fill the water frequently. 

It would be even better to have several water bowls around your house to make sure there is more accessibility to water for your dog. For further accessibility to water you could also look into getting products such as automatic water dispensers or pet watering stations/fountains.

dog drinking from water bowl

Chilled Treats

Make up easy chilled treats for your dog to enjoy after a long walk or a day at the beach. Easy to make chilled treats include:

  • Frozen yogurt and blueberries or banana
  • Frozen water with your pup’s favourite fruit inside
  • Frozen watermelon
  • Frozen peanut butter and banana

Frozen treats are so easy to make and can really help with cooling your dog down. All you do is add any of your dog’s favourite treats into an ice cube tray with water, freeze until solid and you’re done! These frozen treats will also keep your dog occupied for a length of time.

watermelon icy poles

Shelter from the Sun

Your dog may enjoy a little bit of sunbathing, but ultimately, they need to be in a cool and shady spot to relax. Prolonged exposure to the sun will lead to heat exhaustion and can cause sunburn.

Yup you heard that right! Dogs can get sunburnt too. Although you can get sunscreen for dogs, it is not ideal unless you have a pink skinned or thin-haired breed dog. Breeds most prone to getting sunburn include:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Chinese Crested
  • Dalmatian
  • Greyhound
  • Weimaraner
  • Whippet
  • White German Shepherd

Consider researching your breed of dog and if you should take more precaution when they are in the sun for a prolonged amount of time. 

For most dogs however, the best thing you can provide to them is shelter from the sun. Although trees can provide some shelter from the sun, it isn’t always enough. 

Consider getting an insulated dog house that is large and well ventilated. Alternatively, you can put up an open-air tent or canopy. Ensure shelter for you dog is in a shady spot anyway. 

The best place for you dog to cool down however is inside your home. So be sure they have easy access indoors or consider getting a doggy door installed.

When at the beach, it is crucial to have a beach umbrella or open beach tent where your dog can lay in the shade and be sheltered from the sun. 

dog sitting under umbrella at beach

Dog Pools

If your dog is a bit of a water baby then a large tub or plastic kiddie pool/clam shell is a great addition to your backyard. These tubs/pools can be found at most home stores. 

Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water however it is important that you supervise you dog at all times. Keep the pool in a shady spot and ensure you change the water frequently. When the pool is not in use, do not leave it full of water as it may attract mosquitoes during the warmer weather. 

Alternatively, or additionally, your dog may enjoy running through a sprinkler, a swim at the beach or in your home pool if they are trained at swimming.

underwater shot of dog swimming in pool

Dog Cooling Beds

While a dog may love their cosy and soft bed, during summer it may be too warm for them to lie in/on. This is why a lot of the time you will notice your dog lying on your tiles/concrete floor when it’s hot.

Alternatively, consider a cooling dog bed as it can offer the comfort and softness of their usual bed with the benefits of cooling them down at the same time. Cooling dog beds usual consist of a gel-like material or water to keep the bed feeling cool. 

dog lying on tiles

Other Cooling Methods

There are several other products/methods out there that can further assist with cooling your dog down during summer. Some work better than others, it all depends on your dog and their needs. Products/methods to consider include:

  • Ice Vest
  • Cooling collars/bandannas
  • Crate/Kennel cooling fans
  • Ice to lay on/chew 

If you decide to try any of these , keep in mind that these are not substitutes to the other cooling methods suggested above. These products can just further assist in cooling your dog down.

dog lying on ice

Remember, dogs primarily cool off by panting, so the cooler the air they are in the better. At home, if you have air-conditioning and or fans this is also great to help cool your dog down. The same goes for when your dog is in the car. 

No matter how you help keep your dog cool, during summer it is important that you keep an eye on your dog. If you are ever in doubt, get your dog to a cool area. 

If you notice signs of heat stroke (Panting, dehydration, excessive drooling, increased body temperature - above 103° F (39° C), reddened gums and moist tissues of the body, production of only small amounts of urine or no urine, sudden kidney failure and/or rapid heart rate) ensure you contact your vet immediately.

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