If your playful pups are anything like mine then you know that they LOVE to spend the summer days lounging outdoors with you. When my family spends their summer weekends hanging out by the pool that also means that our three dogs are out there with us, but with rising temperatures and three dogs who don’t enjoy the water it can be rough to find ways to keep them cool and safe outdoors. However, it’s almost worse to see how much they hate to spend all day indoors alone. So in order to keep my pups safe and happy while having fun alongside the family outside I’ve compiled this list of tips to help you and your pup to beat the summer heat:
1. Provide plenty of water.
This will always be my number one tip for you AND your dog on a hot day spent out in the sun. It is absolutely imperative that your dog always has access to plenty of clean, cool, and drinkable water on a hot day. If it looks like your pup’s bowel is getting low, be sure to fill it up. My favorite thing to do on hot summer days is to fill their water dish with plenty of ice cubes along with the water. Not only do they like to munch and play with the little cubes, but it helps to keep the water nice and cool for much longer.
2. Create a shady spot for them to relax.
If your favorite outdoor hang out spot is a pool deck or patio then you may already have a nice big umbrella that creates plenty of relaxing shade for you and your pups. If you are more of the rugged outdoor type, you may want to consider carrying along an umbrella or tarp with you so that you can create a temporary shaded area for you and your pet. Not only will they appreciate a break from the hot sun but so will you.
3. Consider using a cooling bandana or cooling mat.
If you have a wooden deck or patio, those boards can get hot, hot, hot sitting out in the bright summer sun. A cooling mat is a nice way to provide a comfortable spot for your pet to lay. For instance, Target just released this adorable mat with their summer collection. You can also find cooling mats on Chewy.com. If you don’t want to invest in a cooling mat, throw down some cheap bath or beach towels to provide a cooler alternative to the hot wood.
Cooling bandanas are another great option to help regulate your pet’s temperate on a hot summer day. Cooling bandanas tend to be cheaper than the mats and the great thing about the bandanas is that if your pet refuses to lay on the mat they at least can’t take the bandana off.
I recommend leaving the bandana or the mat in the refrigerator if you can the night before. It will help get the cooling gel inside even cooler.
4. Create freezie treats or a frozen Kong.
Another great way to help keep you pet cool during the summer is by making them delicious frozen treats. One option is to invest in silicone baking molds (I recommend Le Dogue baking molds for all your doggie baking needs. They are super cute, high quality , and come with a great little recipe booklet). Silicone baking molds are great for making freezie treats. In order to make a great freezie treat, you first need a freezeable liquid base. Coconut and almond milk, broths, fruit purée and peanut butter are all examples of great bases. Next you can add the fun stuff to your freezie treats: fruit, coconut oil, peanut butter if you haven’t already, and doggie safe nuts are all fun options for a great freezie great.
If freezie treats aren’t your style you can also create a frozen Kong for your dog. Stuff the Kong with plain yogurt or peanut butter and pop it in the freezer over night. You can also fill your frozen Kong treat with fruit and other fun goodies if you’d like. Not only will the frozen Kong keep your dog cool but it will also keep them busy and entertained!
5. Fill up a baby pool for water loving pups.
For dogs that love the water consider buying a baby pool for them to enjoy. On hot summer days you can fill up their own personal swim spot for them to relax and cool off in. For pet owners who want to keep their pups out of their own pools, this may be a good alternative to the watery fun.
6. Provide plenty of indoor breaks as needed.
Sometimes the heat is just too much no matter how hard we try to keep our pets comfortable. Part of being a responsible pet owner is recognizing when your pets are being pushed to their limits. This is especially true for older, short snouted, and sick dogs. I know that Bean is especially sensitive to the heat in comparison to my other two dogs and so she is always the first to go in and the last to come outside. As much as she hates it, I have her take plenty of breaks in the cool air conditioning on those days when the heat is just too rough. Once she is cool enough she is always welcome to come back outside. When she has reached her limit back inside she goes.
7. Coat them with water every so often.
Unlike humans, dogs do not sweat. Instead, they pant to help keep cool. Sweating works to keep us humans cool through evaporation. Coating your dog with water on a hot day works in much the same way. As the water evaporates off their fur it helps to cool them off. I know my dogs always seem so much happier when I pat them down with a nice cool handful of water!
8. Do not shave your double coated dogs!
Despite what some people think, shaving your double coated dog will NOT keep them cooler in the summer! According to dogsnaturallymagazine.com double coated dog breeds have two coats to protect them against cold weather. The outer “guard hairs” protect against snow and ice and shed water. The softer undercoat lies closer to the skin and helps keep a dog warm. In winter, this undercoat is thick, but in the summer this coat is shed leaving just the guard hairs. In the summer the guard hairs protect against sunburn and insulate against the heat.
When you shave your double coated dog, this pattern of the coat is ruined and the dog’s coat can no longer work to keep him cool, making your dog prone to over heating.
9. Recognize when it’s just too hot for dogs.
Just as some days require plenty of breaks from the heat, others are just too much from the start. Be aware of this. As much as your pets want to spend the day with you it’s not worth risking their safety for a few hours in the sun. Wait until the cooler hours of the evening. I promise you will both enjoy it much more. Check out the chart below by PetPlan for information on when it may just be too hot for your dog.
If you follow these nine simple tips you and you pups are sure to have a safe and enjoyable summer and will be able to beat the summer heat- no matter how you chose to spend your days!
What do you and your pup like to do in the summer? Leave a comment below 😊