Tips and Products To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
We may make a commission if you buy through these links--it won’t cost any more and it supports POP!
We know, all you city pups are cool! But keeping cool outdoors on hot summer days can be a challenge for even the coolest of dogs, since not every city pup has a pool to jump in! In addition to having thick fur coats, dogs cool down differently than people do, primarily by panting and circulating air through their bodies. Since they can't sweat, they sometimes have more trouble cooling their bodies down than we do.
Generally, if it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your pup, and you're both better off finding activities to do inside. Many dogs can overheat more quickly than we do too, either because they are inclined to run around and play or because of breed characteristics like heavy coats or short snouts. When you do head outdoors this summer, here are a few tips for keeping your furry family cool.
Cooling Dog Beds
Cooling mats can help keep your dog cool. The two primary styles are elevated beds, which increase air circulation to help cool, and gel filled beds that dissipate body heat. Elevated beds like the Coolaroo Mat below typically consist of an elevated frame with a mesh cover. These beds also alleviate joint pain by reducing pressure on knees, hips, and shoulders. View other Cooling Mats here. Find a shaded spot for the bed or look for one with a built in shade.
It's a good idea to carry water for your pup when you're out and away from home on hot days. Dogs need to stay hydrated just like we do, and it helps to keep them cool. One great option is completely free--just fill up a water bottle you already have sitting around at home! There are also many water bottle designed for pups too, that come with a built in bowl or reservoir for drinking. Here is one of our favorites from Kurgo, or you can check out our list of Portable Water Options here.
You can create a water park just for your dog, and it's easy! Many dogs absolutely love water, so just grab the water hose you already have or get a sprinkler! You also can pick up a small splash pool. It's always best to properly supervise your pup with any of these activities. Sprinklers aren't actually designed for dog play, although many are designed to be safe for children. And even shallow splash pools can create a danger for smaller dogs.
There are plenty of other things that can help your dog stay cool during the summer. Here are just a few ideas. Let us know if you have more we should include!
Please don't shave your dog or commit other self-help mistakes. Shaving a dog's fur can be a serious problem, resulting in severe sun burn, long term coat issues, and more. Talk to your groomer (or find a trusted local one) about what might be best for your pup. Some breeds may need to be cut shorter, and others may need to have their under coat brushed out.
While it's pretty obvious that dogs with thick, heavy fur may be more susceptible to heat problems, so can Brachycephalic dogs, or those with short muzzles such as bulldogs. They are not as efficient at cooling themselves down so they will need more help staying cool.
Keep plenty of fresh, cold water on hand. You can even add ice (some dogs love it!). And yes, ice is safe for dogs despite claims that occasionally circulate online--here is an ABC News story you can check out, and talk with your vet if you have any doubt.
If your pup has short or light fur, or a sensitive nose, you may need pet-specific sun screen. Don't use your own sun screen, since most brands have ingredients that are harmful to dogs. One of our favorites is Emmy's Best Spray Sun Screen. We also put together some of our favorites here.