Small white dog being trained by a man outdoors

Keep Your Dog Cool: List of Summer Essentials

As the temperatures rise and summer arrives, ensuring your furry friend stays cool and comfortable is crucial. Dogs are susceptible to heat-related issues, including heatstroke and paw pad burns. To keep your dog safe and happy during the summer months, here’s a list of essential items and tips to help beat the heat.

Provide Ample Shade

Creating a cool and shaded area is vital for your dog to escape the scorching sun. Consider setting up a canopy or using a sturdy umbrella in your backyard. Additionally, ensure your dog has access to shaded spots indoors. A cool, well-ventilated room or a pet-specific cooling mat can provide relief from the heat.

Fresh Water at All Times

Hydration is crucial for dogs, especially during hot weather. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Keep multiple water bowls around your home, and when you’re out and about, carry a portable water dispenser for your dog. Encourage regular water intake to prevent dehydration.

Cooling Vests and Bandanas

Invest in a cooling vest or bandana specially designed for dogs. These products are designed to regulate your dog’s body temperature during hot weather. They work by using evaporative cooling technology that helps dissipate heat and keeps your dog comfortable. Soak them in water and put them on your dog for instant relief.

Paw Protection

Hot pavements and sandy beaches can cause severe burns on your dog’s paw pads. Protect your furry friend by using dog booties or paw balms. Dog booties provide a barrier between your dog’s paws and the hot surface, preventing burns. Paw balms act as a protective layer, keeping paw pads moisturised and less prone to injury.

Pool or Sprinkler Fun

Introduce water play as a fun and refreshing activity for your dog. Set up a kiddie pool in your backyard, or turn on the sprinklers for your dog to run through. Water activities help your dog cool down and provide an entertaining outlet for their energy.

Avoid Hot Cars

Never leave your dog alone in a parked car, even for a few minutes. Temperatures inside a car can skyrocket quickly, even with open windows. This can lead to heatstroke or even death. If you need to run errands, leaving your furry friend at home in a cool and comfortable environment is best.

Regular Grooming

Maintain your dog’s coat by regular grooming sessions. Brushing helps remove excess hair and promotes better air circulation, keeping your dog cooler. However, it’s important not to shave your dog’s coat too short, as it acts as a natural barrier against the sun’s harmful rays.

Frozen Treats

Who doesn’t love a tasty treat on a hot day? Prepare frozen treats for your dog to help them cool down and refresh. You can make simple, homemade treats by freezing dog-friendly ingredients such as yoghurt, fruit purees, or bone broth. Just be sure to use pet-safe ingredients and avoid adding any harmful substances like xylitol or chocolate.

Electric Fences for Dogs

To ensure your dog’s safety during summer adventures, consider using electric fences for dogs in your yard. These fences use harmless electric signals to create a boundary for your dog. They provide a secure environment while allowing your furry friend to enjoy the outdoors. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and usage to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.

Time Outdoor Activities Wisely

Schedule your dog’s outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Avoid strenuous exercise or walks during the hottest hours. Take shorter walks and provide plenty of rest breaks in shaded areas.

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and watch for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, lethargy, or disorientation. If your dog shows any of these signs, immediately move them to a cool area and offer water.

Consider Indoor Play

On exceptionally hot days, when the heat is unbearable, opt for indoor playtime to keep your dog active and entertained. Engage in interactive games like hide-and-seek, puzzle toys, or indoor agility exercises. This allows your dog to burn off energy without exposing them to the scorching heat.

Dog-Friendly Sunscreen

Just like humans, dogs can also get sunburned. Areas with thin or light-coloured fur, such as the nose, ears, and belly, are particularly susceptible. Consult your veterinarian to find a pet-safe sunscreen and apply it to these sensitive areas before heading outdoors. Avoid using human sunscreen as it may contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs.

Wet Towels and Cooling Mats

Provide your dog with a cool spot to lie on indoors by using wet towels or cooling mats. Wet a towel with cold water and place it in a shaded area for your dog to lie on. Cooling mats are designed to absorb and dissipate heat, providing a comfortable surface for your dog to relax on during hot days.

Plan Shaded Walks

When going for walks, plan your route to include shaded areas. Walk your dog in parks or areas with plenty of trees to provide natural shade. Avoid concrete or asphalt surfaces that can absorb and radiate heat, making the walk uncomfortable for your dog. Grass or dirt paths tend to be cooler options.

Know the Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a serious condition that can be life-threatening for dogs. Familiarise yourself with the signs, which include excessive panting, drooling, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapse. If you suspect your dog is experiencing heatstroke, immediately move them to a cool area and contact your veterinarian for guidance.


Summer can be challenging for dogs, but you can ensure their safety and well-being with proper care and attention. Remember to provide shade, fresh water, and cooling accessories like vests or bandanas. Be mindful of hot surfaces and schedule outdoor activities wisely.

Regular grooming, frozen treats, and indoor playtime are also beneficial. And if you’re looking for a secure outdoor space, consider using an electric fence for dogs. Following these summer essentials, keep your furry friend cool, happy, and healthy throughout the season.