Tips on Keeping Your Dog Cool During The Summer

Texas heat is no joke. Austin, Texas averages 16 days a year that are over 100 degrees and most days are in the 90s. This isn’t all bad news as it provides some of the greatest opportunities for outdoor activities in the country. However; if precautions aren’t taken bad things can occur. This is true for both humans and dogs. And while most people know how to keep themselves safe in the heat, less is known about how to keep our four-legged companions comfortable. We’re here to help solve that problem with some tips on keeping your dog cool this, and every, summer. 

The best offense is a good defense

No amount of fancy gear or planning can prevent a summer day from being hot. Pet stores do not carry a remedy for the sun - not even online. That means the best way to avoid having your pup get overheated is to avoid the causes of overheating.

Drinking water can go a long way in preventing a dog from becoming too hot. During warmer days of the year provide extra water for your pet. Adding ice to their water bowl is always a great addition. Also if your pup is playing outside consider purchasing the hose attachments that turn your water hose into an on-demand puppy water fountain. 

Avoid the peak of the day: 11am - 2pm. Plan your walks in the early morning hours or in the evening. If you have to let your dog out to do their business during the peak hours keep the outing short. The less time spent outside in the peak heat the lesser the risk of overheating.

Accessorize

There are some truly clever accessories on the market designed to help with this exact dilemma. You may consider picking up one or all of the following cooling accessories:

  • A cooling mat. 

  • A cooling vest, or bandana. 

  • Shaded seats. 

  • Frozen dog toys.

Water Play

When you were a kid, what was your favorite way to stay cool in the summer? If you were anything like the rest of us it was finding a way to play in or with water. Water does wonders for cooling us off. This tenet holds true for our pets. There are several ways you can encourage doggie water play during the summer. 

Purchase a small pool and fill it. Your pup will love splashing around in the refreshing water. You can even throw in a few of their favorite toys. Pro-tip: Hard pools work better for this than inflatable ones for obvious reasons. 

You can also turn on a sprinkler and watch them run through the water for hours. The main goal here is to provide cool water for them to play in allowing them enjoy being outside while preventing them from getting too warm.  

Cooling Treat

You can purchase frozen dog treats or you can make your own. There are countless recipes on the internet for “Pupsicles” and other frozen dog treats so we won’t share any specific recipes. But the premise is simple, you have a small frozen stash of treats for your pup and they have a quick and tasty way to cool down. 

The Texas heat can be dangerous for dogs. It doesn’t take very long for a dog to become overheated. And nothing good happens when they do. Dogs can suffer heat stroke or even cardiac arrests. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to stay locked up indoors all summer long. Just be aware of the dangers and plan ahead and there is no reason why you and your dog can’t have the #BestSummerEver. 


Abi Pennavaria is a dog mom, avid vet volunteer, and co-author of Saved By The Bark blog. She enjoys sharing tips and tricks for dog owners of all breeds.


Shani Michelle