10 tips for keeping your dog cool and safe in the summer
Summer safety tips for your dog
Summer days are upon us, and there are few things that beat enjoying a day out in the sun, especially when it’s with our favourite pup. But as the mercury rises, extreme heat can become dangerous. Because we want to make sure that everyone has a great time, check out these 

10 tips for keeping your dog cool in extreme heat

  1. Don’t leave your dog in a hot vehicle. We are all aware of the dangers of leaving your pet in a vehicle on a warm day – even with the window(s) down. It doesn’t take long (minutes in fact) for the inside of a car to heat up. Leaving your dog in your car can result in a dangerous situation (one that could become life threatening). If you see an overheated dog in a vehicle know what you are and aren’t allowed to do to help, and never leave your own pup in a vehicle, no matter how long.
  2. Always have water available. Whether you’re out or at home, it’s critical to have a source of water for your dog to get and stay hydrated. Make sure to bring a water bottle for Fido when heading out on a walk, hike or other trip. If you’ll be hanging out in the backyard, keep a water bowl in a shady spot.
  3. Serve cool treats. Whether you go with the store-bought or the homemade type (or even some ice cubes), these can be another way to help your dog beat the heat. Just keep in mind that dairy can cause your dog to get an upset tummy, so you should avoid sharing your ice cream with them.
  4. Keep walks to the coolest part of the day. If you can, keep outings with your pup to either the early morning or later in the evening when the temperature out is coolest. It will make for a more comfortable walk, run or hike for both you and your doggy.
  5. Stick to the grass. Pavement and sand can get toasty hot in the summer sun. Whenever you can, keep your dog on the grass to help protect the pads on their paws. Also, keep an eye out for signs of burnt pads, including licking or chewing of paws, limping or refusing to walk, or redness or blisters.1
  6. Have a doggy pool. It doesn’t need to be deep. Just be sure to supervise and keep the water fresh. Also, don’t force your dog into the water if they’re not interested. If you’ll be trading in your puppy pool for a lake (or other body of water), follow these extra tips to keep your dog safe:
    • Wear a life jacket. You’re not the only one who should be wearing a lifejacket when in a watercraft (as part of staying safe on the water), your dog should be too. Even if your pup is a strong swimmer, if something were to happen, a doggy lifejacket can make it easier to bring Fido back into the boat.
    • Watch the water temperature. Just like for humans, swimming in water that is too cold could put your dog at risk for hypothermia. If the water is too cool for you to take a dip, it is probably also too cold for your dog.
    • Stay away from rough water or strong currents. The best of swimmers can get tired, too. Keep an eye out for rough water or strong currents that could make it tough for your dog to paddle back in. Even if the waters are calm, you should always supervise your pup when they are in or near the water.
      • When your pup is done enjoying the water, don’t forget to dry them well. This will help to prevent hot spots from developing, which are inflamed patches of skin that can be painful and itchy.
  7. Use a cooling pad, collar, or bandana. These accessories can help to keep your pet more comfortable in the summer heat.
  8. Hang out in the shade, or better yet, the A/C. If you’re going to be outdoors, try to keep your dog chilling in the shade. If you have the choice, let your dog really chill out in the comfort of air conditioning.
  9. Keep in mind your dog’s coat. A healthy coat can also help to keep your dog cool. Not all coats are meant to be shaved – chat with your vet or groomer for tips on keeping your dog’s coat in its best shape.
  10. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Did you know that certain dog breeds can get burnt in the sun? If your pup is of the furless variety, has bald patches or a thin coat, be sure to lather on the dog sunscreen (yes, this actually exists).

What are the signs of an overheated dog?

Dogs can suffer from heatstroke just like us. Look out for these symptoms of heatstroke in the dogs in your life:2

  • Exaggerated panting or a sudden stop in panting
  • Erratic or rapid pulse
  • Salivation, anxious or staring expressions
  • Weakness and muscle tremors or lack of coordination
  • Convulsions or vomiting
  • Collapsing

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

You know your dog best, so take their preferences into account. While some dogs may love to jump into the water on a hot day, others may prefer to observe from the shade. Either way, make sure both you and your pup are ready to beat the summer heat.

Need coverage for your furry family members? Heat safety: Walking your dog Leaving dogs in cars: Avoid heat exhaustion and save lives