As the mercury rises and we all enjoy the benefits of warmer weather, it’s crucial not to forget about our four-legged friends. High temperatures can be just as uncomfortable for dogs as they are for us, and in some cases, they can even be dangerous. To help your canine companion enjoy the summer season safely, here are seven ways to keep your dog cool.
Keep Them Hydrated
Just like us, dogs need to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Ensure your dog always has access to fresh, clean water—whether you’re at home or out and about. Consider investing in a portable dog water bottle for walks or trips to the park.
How Much Water Should Dogs Drink?
The amount of water a dog should drink daily varies depending on several factors, including their size, diet, age, and level of physical activity. However, a general rule of thumb is that dogs should drink about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.
So, a 30-pound dog would need roughly 30 ounces of water under normal conditions. Keep in mind, this is just a guideline, and some dogs may need more or less. For instance, dogs that are more active or those eating a primarily dry kibble diet may require more hydration.
Provide Ample Shade
Whether they’re playing in the yard or lounging on the porch, make sure your dog has a shady spot to retreat to when the sun becomes too intense. Consider an outdoor dog bed designed to keep your pet cool or even a doggy sun umbrella.
Use a Cooling Mat
Cooling mats can be a godsend in the summer months. These mats are filled with a gel that absorbs your dog’s body heat, providing a cool surface for them to lie on. They can be used indoors, outdoors, or even in your dog’s bed to help them keep their cool.
Make Dog-Friendly ‘Pupsicles’
Just as we enjoy a refreshing ice lolly on a hot day, dogs appreciate a chilly treat too. Consider making dog-friendly ‘pupsicles’ by freezing low-sodium chicken broth, pieces of fruit, or dog treats in ice cube trays. Your dog will love the tasty surprise and appreciate the cooling effect.
Peanut Butter and Banana Pupsicle Recipe
Here’s a simple and healthy dog-friendly popsicle (or “pupsicle”) recipe that your furry friend is sure to love:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs)
- Silicone ice cube trays or small paper cups
- In a bowl, mash the ripe bananas until they reach a smooth consistency.
- Add the Greek yogurt and peanut butter to the mashed bananas. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the silicone ice cube trays or paper cups, filling them to the top.
- Place the trays or cups in the freezer and let them freeze for at least 4 hours, or until they are firm.
- Once they’re frozen, you can pop the pupsicles out of the trays or peel away the paper cups.
- Serve these tasty, cooling treats to your dog on a hot day!
Take Walks During Cooler Times
If possible, try to walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is lower. The midday sun can be too intense for many breeds, and hot pavement can even cause burns on their paw pads.
Invest in a Doggy Pool
Many dogs love water, and a doggy pool can be a fun and effective way to keep them cool. Always supervise your dog while they’re in the water, and make sure they can easily get in and out of the pool. If a doggy pool isn’t feasible, a simple garden hose or sprinkler can work wonders.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Even on a mild day, the temperature inside a car can skyrocket within minutes, posing a severe risk to dogs. Never leave your dog alone in the car during warm weather, even for a short time. It’s not just dangerous—it’s illegal in many places.
Don’t Make It Complicated
Keeping your dog cool in the summer doesn’t have to be complicated. With a bit of preparation and care, you can ensure your furry friend stays comfortable and safe, even in the heat. Enjoy the summer season together—just remember to keep it cool!