How to Keep Your Dogs Cool in the Summer Heat
15 July, 2014

Our poor dogs with their long hair and affinity for being outdoors can be miserable during the long, hot summer months.  Our pups don’t have the ability to cool themselves by sweating as we humans do. They might sweat a little through their pads, but the main way a dog cools off is by panting. Unfortunately, panting is not enough when it is extremely hot and humid.

Below are some tips to help your dog stay cool during the hot summer months.

Make sure to take your dogs on shorter walks in early morning or evening

During the hot summer days, the best time to walk your dog is in the early morning or evening.  If you can, wait until the sun goes down to give your dog some relief.  And, dogs can feel the sun and can get sun burn.  Therefore, you need to keep that in mind while outdoors with your dog.  If you are heading to the dog park, just let your dogs’ play for a short time.  They can’t tell us that they are overheated so it’s best to keep all sun exposure and outdoor time to a minimum.

Keep cool water readily available for your pup

To keep your dogs’ cool in the summer, it is essential that you keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. In hot weather, this is even more crucial. Make sure you keep the water dish in a shady location and change the water frequently. If you want to keep fresh water available outdoors, you might want to look into a watering system that hooks up to a faucet. These systems are designed to provide water as needed and are usually triggered by motion or a specific action.

How about a misting fan?

Misting fans and aerosols that spew water into the air also lower the temperature and can keep your dog’s fur damp.  When your dog gest misty, it also helps her or him cool off when the water evaporates. Misters can be placed on the porch, deck or near the puppy playpen and will keep your dog cool.

Make sure your dog has shelter from the sun

Your dog might enjoy a little sunbathing, but she ultimately needs a cool, shady spot to relax. The best thing you can do for your dog is to offer shelter. Shade from trees works, but an actual structure is better. Consider getting an insulated dog house, but make sure it is large and well-ventilated. Alternatively, you might put up an open-air tent or canopy. Of course, the most ideal shelter is in your home with a doggie door to allow indoor access.

Dogs love little kiddie pools

If your dog loves water, then a large tub or kiddie pool (molded plastic, not inflatable) might be a great addition to your yard. You can find tubs or pools at most home stores. Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water. Just make sure you supervise your dog at all times. Also, keep the pool in a shady spot and change the water frequently.

Try a cooling dog bed

You might want to try a cooling dog bed where your dog can escape to during the day. While a dog bed is nice and soft, it might also be too warm. However, a cooling dog bed can offer the comfort and softness of a typical dog bed with the coolness your dog craves. Cooling dog beds often use a gel-like material or simply water to keep the bed feeling cool. These beds are especially great for senior dogs as an alternative for hard floors or even carpet.  You can find a variety of cooling beds at: pet mountain: (

Remember that dogs cool themselves primarily by panting, so cooler air is the best way to prevent and relieve overheating. No matter what you do to keep your dog cool, the best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on your pup.  Be sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice signs of heat stroke or if you dog is behaving differently.

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