Offering Some General Advice On How To Keep Your Dog Comfortable, Cool, And Safe In The Summer Heat

June is a very exciting month as it marks the beginning of Summer! With Summer comes the summer heat. While this summer heat is generally considered a good thing, it can have its downsides for our furry four-legged friends. Most dogs are covered in a coat of fur and don’t have the option to take it off the way people can take off clothes. This article will offer some general advice on how to keep your dogs cool, happy, and safe during the summer heat.

Full Disclosure

Full disclosure, here at Long Island Pet Service, we have a lot of experience when it comes to caring for dogs in the summer heat. However, we are pet sitters & dog walkers, not veterinary professionals. The advice we are offering in this article is based on our personal experiences working with dogs in hot summer weather. Although we are not medical professionals, we are animal professionals. We hope you find our suggestions practical and useful for keeping your dog cool and safe this summer. 

Hydration Is Essential

The most important aspect of keeping your dog cool during the summer heat is proper hydration. Providing your dog with accessible water may seem like common knowledge, but it is often overlooked by many dog owners. Typically speaking, the average dog should drink around ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. However, many dogs are sloppy drinkers and much of the water in their bowl will end up on the ground anyway. Rather than measuring your dog’s water, simply refill their bowl 2 or 3 times a day. 

PRO TIP: Stainless steel bowls are not meant to be used outside in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can heat a stainless steel bowl to the point where it can burn your dog’s tongue or snout. 

Outdoor Shade

Most dogs love to run, play, and frolic outside. But during the summer heat, it’s vitally important to provide your dogs with some form of shade. Whether it’s a large tree, patio umbrella, or retractable awning, they need a place that will keep them out of direct sunlight. This is so they have a chance to cool off after running around and playing in the yard. 

Indoor Air Conditioning/Circulation

According to the A.K.C. (American Kennel Club), a dogs’ primary sweat glands are located in their paw pads. This means dogs don’t have the ability to be cooled by the evaporation of sweat on their body the way humans do. This is why dogs pant or breath heavily when exposed to hot temperatures as it is the best way for them to cool off. 

When it comes to being indoors during summer weather, we highly recommend some form of air conditioning or fan circulation. While air conditioners are more ideal, even a few fans running will help keep your dog cool and comfortable when indoors during the summer. 

Frozen Treats

A very effective and tasty way to keep your dog cool this summer is to give them some frozen dog treats. More specifically “pupsicles” (popsicles for dogs). You can buy pre-made pupsicles from the store or make them at home. We suggest making them at home because they are more affordable and you know exactly what’s in them. Commonly used ingredients in pupsicles include bananas, pumpkin puree, pineapple, strawberries, and Greek yogurt. You can also incorporate frozen vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. For more in-depth recipes on pupsicles, check out TheDogBakery.com.  

Cooling Beds

Most adult dogs sleep for an average of 11 hours a day. However, it can be difficult for some dogs to get an adequate amount of sleep during the summer heat. This is where cooling beds come in handy. There are many variations of dog cooling beds, but the overall goal is the same. Dog cooling beds are designed to help keep your dog cool and comfortable regardless of the temperature around them. 

Most dog cooling beds are made out of material that promotes air flow to help keep your dog cool. Some are made with pressure activated gel that helps absorb and dissipate body heat. They even make elevated cooling beds that offer maximum air flow & circulation. For a more comprehensive guide to dog cooling beds, check out FamilyHandyMan.com

Making The Best Of Summer

Most dogs are covered in fur and have minimal ways of staying cool on their own. This makes dogs prone to heatstroke more than most other pets. That’s why it’s up to responsible pet owners like you to keep them well hydrated, in the shade, and in a cool & comfortable environment. We hope you enjoyed this article and that the aforementioned ideas help keep your dog happy, cool, and safe this summer. Summer is a great time of the year to be a dog and we want your dog to have the best summer possible. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful summer!