Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer: Essential Tips & Tricks

Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer: Essential Tips & Tricks

Summer brings sunshine, vacations, and plenty of outdoor fun – but it can also pose a serious threat to our furry companions. Dogs don't regulate their body temperature as efficiently as humans, making them susceptible to overheating and heatstroke.

This guide equips you with the knowledge and essential tips to keep your dog cool and safe throughout the hot summer months.


Hydration is Key


Water is the basis and main resource for cooling your dog under the hot sun. Recognize the significance of having fresh and cold water in adequate quantities available at any time. Here are some ways to make sure your pup stays hydrated:Here are some ways to make sure your pup stays hydrated:

Multiple Bowls: Place water bowls in various locations around the house and yard. This allows for easier access and prevents dehydration, especially if your dog forgets to drink after playing.

Refresh Regularly: Refill and replace water frequently, especially on hot days. Consider adding ice cubes to keep the water cool for longer.

Carry Water on Walks: Always bring a portable water bowl and fresh water when walking your dog. Take frequent breaks to allow them to drink.

Flavor Boost (Optional): Some dogs might be picky drinkers. A splash of low-sodium chicken broth (cooled down) can entice them to drink more.


Beat the Heat with Shade and Shelter


For example, sunlight will act much faster and may thus be dangerous for your canine companion. Shade is super most during these hours, place the shade umbrellas to cover up at least 80% of the play area if needed. Here are some ways to create cool havens for your dog:

Shady Spots: Utilize the shade from trees, bushes, or awnings. You can also create temporary shade structures using tarps or umbrellas.

Air Conditioning: If possible, keep your house cool with air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day. Ensure proper ventilation to avoid drafts that might make your dog uncomfortable.

Cooling Mats: Invest in a pressure-activated cooling mat for your dog to lie on. Some mats are filled with water or gel that stays cool for extended periods.

Frozen Treats: Make homemade frozen treats with dog-safe ingredients like yogurt, broth, and fruits. Freeze them in ice cube trays or Kong toys for a refreshing and hydrating snack.


Exercise Strategically


Exercise is crucial for your dog's physical and mental health, but it's vital to adjust your routine during the summer. Here's how to keep your pup active without risking overheating:

Early Morning/Late Evening Walks: Schedule walks and playtime for cooler times of the day, like early mornings or evenings.

Shorter Sessions: Opt for shorter, more frequent exercise sessions instead of long, strenuous outings.

Hydration Breaks: Factor in frequent water breaks during walks. Look for shaded areas to rest and allow your dog to cool down.

Indoor Activities: Consider indoor alternatives for exercise on very hot days. Play fetch or engage in interactive games like hide-and-seek indoors for mental stimulation.


Water Fun for Hot Days


Many dogs love water, and water play is a fantastic way to cool them down on a hot day. Here are some safe and fun water activities for your dog:

Paddling Pool: Set up a small paddling pool in a shaded area for your dog to splash around. Ensure the water is cool but not cold.

Sprinkler Fun: Turn on a sprinkler in the shade and let your dog run through it. This is a great way for them to cool down while having fun.

Kiddie Pool Fun: Fill a kiddie pool with cool water for your dog to wade in or splash around.

Dog-Friendly Beaches/Lakes: If you live near a dog-friendly beach or lake, take your dog for a swim (with supervision) on a hot day. Always check the water conditions beforehand and ensure a gradual entry/exit point for your dog.


Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin (Consult Vet First)


While most dogs don't need sunscreen, some breeds with light-colored fur, hairless skin, or a history of skin cancer might benefit from sunscreen on exposed areas like the nose, ears, and around the eyes. Always consult your veterinarian before applying any sunscreen to your dog. Choose a pet-safe sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs and do a patch test on a small area of skin before full application.


Never Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car


This one might seem like common sense, but it's worth reiterating. Cars can turn into ovens very quickly, even on seemingly mild days. Leaving your dog unattended in a hot car can be fatal. Here are some stark reminders:

The Inside Temperature Rises Quickly: Even with the windows cracked open, the inside temperature of a car can rise rapidly, exceeding outside temperatures within minutes. This can lead to heat stroke and even death for your dog.

Parking in Shade Doesn't Guarantee Safety: Shade can shift throughout the day, leaving your car exposed to direct sunlight. Don't rely on shade alone to keep your car cool.

Quick Errands Can Turn Deadly: Running a quick errand doesn't justify leaving your dog in a hot car. Even a brief period can pose risks. 


Spotting the Signs of Heatstroke


Early intervention is crucial when dealing with heatstroke. Here are some signs to watch out for:

1. Excessive panting and drooling

2. Lethargy or weakness

3. Vomiting or diarrhea

4. Disorientation or stumbling

5. Glazed eyes or bright red gums

6. Rapid breathing

7. Seizures


If you notice any of these signs, take immediate action:

1. Move your dog to a cool, shaded area.

2. Offer cool water to drink. Do not force them to drink large amounts at once.

3. Wet down your dog with cool water (not ice cold) or a damp towel.

4. Turn on a fan to circulate air.

Seek immediate veterinary attention. Heatstroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is critical.


Additional Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool


Here are some other helpful ideas to keep your dog cool during the summer:

  • Grooming: Regularly brush your dog's fur to remove excess hair that can trap heat. A shorter summer haircut might benefit double-coated breeds (consult your groomer for advice).

  • Cooling Bandanas: Dampen a bandana in cool water and tie it loosely around your dog's neck for a refreshing effect.

  • Frozen Kong Toys: Stuff a Kong toy with dog-safe ingredients like peanut butter, yogurt, or broth and freeze it for a long-lasting, cooling chew toy.

  • Limit Asphalt Walking: Avoid walking your dog on hot asphalt surfaces as they can burn their paws. Opt for grassy areas or cooler surfaces whenever possible.

  • Travel Safety: If you travel with your dog in the car, use air conditioning and take frequent breaks in shaded areas, offering them water and allowing them to cool down.

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure your furry friend stays cool, and safe, and enjoys a fun-filled summer alongside you. Remember, keeping your dog cool is your responsibility, and vigilance is key during the hot summer months. With a little planning and these essential strategies, you can keep your canine companion happy and healthy all summer long!




Summer is a time for relaxation, exploration, and creating lasting memories with your loved ones – including your four-legged companion! By prioritizing your dog's safety and comfort in the heat, you can ensure they enjoy all the fun summer has to offer.

Remember, keeping your dog cool is an ongoing effort. Stay vigilant, monitor their behavior, and adjust your activities based on the weather conditions. With a little planning and these essential tips, you can transform summer into a season of joyful adventures for both you and your dog!