Sunshine, beaches, vacations, water activities, BBQs … there’s a lot to love about summer! And while I’m certainly not complaining about the rising temperatures (can you believe we’re already flirting with the high 90s here in Charlotte?), no one wants to suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. So, while we organize some time to have fun in the sun, we also have to plan for ways to keep us (and our canines) cool. Read on for a list of six essentials to keep your dog cool this summer!
No matter what season it is, your dog should always have access to fresh water. But, I’m starting with this one because, during the hot summer months, it’s even easier for your dog to get dehydrated. So, whether they’re indoors in the AC or on a walk under the blazing sun, make sure to always have a water bowl and fresh water nearby.
When indoors, I suggest using stainless steel or ceramic bowls versus plastic bowls. Plastic dog bowls are very porous and can get scratched easily. Meaning, it’s easier for bacteria, algae, and mold to collect and grow. Another thing that promotes unwanted bacteria? Standing water. So, if you really want to bump your dog’s water game up a notch, invest in a fountain bowl. This stainless steel fountain bowl makes sure your pup’s water is constantly moving and even features a filter!
When heading out for a long walk or day trip, you’ve gotta figure out what’s the most convenient. I absolutely love this foldable, portable bowl by Kurgo. It’s made from a durable, BPA-free, food-grade silicone. It’s dishwasher safe, so you can easily wash it between each use!
About three years ago, during a family BBQ, one of our guests walked in with her adorable Shih Tzu in one hand and a blue pad in the other. We all giggled at first sight, but, really, her dog got the last laugh. Because he comfortably laid outside with us as we dripped sweat.
That was the first time I had ever seen a cooling gel pad and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
This particular cooling pad by iHeartDogs features pressure-activated cooling and does not require any refrigeration! Just set it out and let your pup chill on the cool, comfortable surface. It comes in two sizes:
- Small/Medium: approximately 35 3/8″ x 19 5/8″ (90cm x 50cm)
- Large/X-Large: approximately 37 3/4″ x 32″ (96cm x 81cm)
Imagine if the same cooling pad magic could relive your dog during walks or trips to the park? Well, thanks to this collar, it can! Made of a durable taffeta with a Velcro® closure, you simply have to place the collar in the freezer for a minimum of 20 minutes and then strap it around your pup’s neck when you’re ready to use! The special cooling gel retains the coolness.
This cooling gel collar comes in three sizes:
- Small fits necks up to 13″ length x 1.5″- 1 3/4″ width
- Medium fits necks up to 15.5″ length x 1.5″- 2″ width
- Large fits necks up to 23″ length x 1.5″- 2″ width
Don’t have access to a pool, but yearn for your fur-kid to take a dip? There are plenty of pet pools you can choose from. This particular pet pool (which is an Amazon best-seller) caught my attention because it’s collapsable. So, it’s easy to store come Fall!
Okay, so this one won’t technically keep your pooch cool. But, if you are planning to let your four-legged fur ball take a dip in the human pool or lake then you may want to consider getting a life vest. Available in five sizes ranging from XS-XL, more than 4K people have already shared positive reviews on Amazon. It’s even earned an “Amazon’s Choice” badge!
I scream, you scream, and even the dog screams for a little ice cream (or, shall I say, pup-approved frozen treat). I’ve shared a couple of frozen dog treat recipes on this blog, and I share even more in my book, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes. In fact, I’ve dedicated an entire chapter to Pupsicles. If you already have a copy then simply flip to page 122 — the collection of frozen delights starts there. Don’t have a copy yet? What are you waiting for! You can have a physical copy at your door in two days with Prime (how convenient?!) or you can download the Kindle version and have the recipes in your hands immediately!
Some Other Tips To Keep Your Pup Cool This Summer
- Never leave your dog alone in a hot car.
- Don’t go for long walks during peak sun time (AKA the middle of the afternoon). Instead, shoot for early morning or later in the evening.
- No matter what time of day it is, before you take off for a walk, always feel the ground with your bare foot or hand. If it feels too hot for you then it’s too hot for your pup’s paws!
- When hanging out in the backyard, make sure there is a shady area where your dog can rest.
- Dogs can get a sunburn! So, before spending lots of time outside in the sun, it’s a good idea to apply dog-approved sunscreen. Warning: Not your personal sunscreen designed for humans. There are special dog sunscreens formulated for them!