Summer is great for getting outside and enjoying warmer weather with your dog. You can hike, go to the park, cool off at the lake and so much more. All that added playtime can be great for health and overall well-being, for your dog and for you!
Keeping your dog cool and caring for their health and hygiene during these hotter months is just as important as enjoying the great outdoors. Hot weather creates some specific challenges for staying cool and comfortable, so figuring out a routine that works well for you and your dog is a key part of having a great summer together. Here are five ways to help keep your best friend comfortable during the hottest time of the year.
1. Sit, Stay, Hydrate
Be sure to always have fresh water accessible to keep your dog hydrated. Panting and whining can be a sign of thirst or overheating — that means it’s time for a water break to cool things down! Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, so remember: if you’re thirsty, they probably are too.
If you’re travelling with your dog this summer or tackling fun that will take you farther from home, plan on bringing enough water for both you and your dog, and don’t forget to pack a collapsible drinking bowl. Be prepared and enjoy your outdoor excursions with your pooch!
2. Keep Your Dog Cool
Dogs can’t pick out cool clothes or accessories for the season, but you can! Try adding a few of these dog-friendly solutions for staying (and even looking) cooler on hot days.
- Cooling mats are designed to be soaked or filled with water, giving your dog a place to lay down and cool off after running around and enjoying the sunshine.
- Water-filled toys or chilled wet goodies can be stored in the freezer to give them extra cooling power when the time comes for your dog to enjoy them.
- Is the ground too hot for your dog to walk on? Skip the asphalt and look for a grassy area or dog park to enjoy outside instead. Paw booties can also help protect dogs’ feet from the sizzling cement. You can even try going for walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the midday heat.
3. Bond Over Bath Time
After a day in the sun (and grass, and dirt) with your dog, a bath is sometimes a must. Not only will it get your dog clean; it can help cool them down quickly. When bathing your dog, remember to clean their eyes and face with a soft washcloth or sponge and room-temperature water. After they’re all clean, a nice cool rinse can be very refreshing — just don’t use water that’s too cold for comfort.
4. Throw Some Shade
Your dog may love spending the whole day outside playing, but direct sun can make it easy for them to overheat without realizing it. Plan for playtime in a spot that has a mix of sun and shade. That way, when they need a rest and a quick drink of water, they know where to go to cool down a little before they get back out there.
5. Make Nap Time Cozy and Clean
After spending time out in the heat, having a comfortable place to rest and cool off is important. With all that outside playtime, your dog’s favorite napping spot is likely to get dirty quickly. Plus, you may have to contend with visitors: any bugs, fleas or germs your dog may pick up will likely follow them to bed. Keep your dog’s bed nice and clean during the summer with regular washing. Beds with removable covers make cleaning even easier — getting a fresh bed can be as simple as a quick load of laundry.
Going outside and enjoying the sunshine with your dog is the best part of the dog days of summer! Together you can have a healthy, fun summer with hours of outdoor playtime this year and for many years to come.