How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

The dog days of summer are here. Learn the best ways to keep your pet cool and safe.

A dripping wet German shepard with its mouth open to catch water from a spray coming from the right

Shutterstock / Falcona

Summer is finally here. For pet owners, this means spending time outdoors with their pets! But be careful; just like humans, dogs can overheat from too much sun. Though it’s common sense to find some shade for Fido and keep a bottle of water handy, I’ve rustled up some creative methods that are much more fun. Follow along to learn how to keep your pet cool (and safe!) in the dog days of summer.

1. Whip Up Doggie Ice Cream

I scream, you scream and dogs scream for ice cream! Too much plain ice cream can be bad for your pup. (Just like these other harmful foods!) Instead, I like to stick to this non-dairy option: combine a frozen banana and a scoop of peanut butter in a blender, adding water if necessary. Scoop into your dog’s bowl and top with a few crumbled dog treats. Your pet will be barking “thank you” while digging into this yummy frozen treat. Don’t forget to make a human-friendly version for yourself with this easy technique.

2. Make a Freeze Cake

Let dogs have their cake and eat it, too. Take a bucket or cake pan and fill it with watered-down broth. Put your pup’s favorite edible treats and toys in the bucket. Freeze and serve outdoors. This easy trick will keep your little buddy busy (and hydrated) while you break out a slice of your own frozen dessert.

3. Set Up the Kiddie Pool

Dogs love to splash and play. Treat them to a day in the kiddie pool. Set up a small plastic or inflatable pool in the backyard and drop in some of their favorite waterproof toys. Stand back and let the fun begin. Warning: Your kids may want to join their furry friends. Just remember to assign a lifeguard to supervise!

4. Host a Pool Party

A few inches of water is fun, but dogs that are good swimmers can dive into the big kids’ pool. They’ll cool off instantly and get to practice their cannonball, too. Anxious about letting your dog paddle to the deep end? There are life vests made just for puppies and dogs. However, it’s important to always supervise your furry friends. Why not just join in the fun?

5. Turn On the Sprinkler

If you’re at home, break out the hose and let the sprinkler loose. The water will wet your dog’s fur and cool him down fast. It’s also a fun to watch your pet run through the water and play-or even try to drink from the stream. Many dogs find hours of entertainment and enjoyment from this simple pleasure.

6. Spend a Day at the Beach

Dogs that love getting wet, sandy and dirty will love this field trip. Play fetch on the sand and let the dog dig for hidden treasure, then splash around in the water to cool off. If your pet’s not familiar with open water, supervise closely. And double-check to make sure the beach is dog-friendly first!

With all that fun in the sun, it’s important to closely monitor your pup. Try to keep your pet from exerting too much energy by taking plenty of breaks. If the animal shows any sign of fatigue, move fast to get them indoors or to a cool area. Contact your vet immediately if you think your dog may be suffering from heat stroke.

Keep these tips in mind and you and your furry friend will have a great time. When back at home, check out these delicious recipes you can share.

Meg Scanlon
Meg Scanlon is an actor, improviser, writer, filmmaker and member of SAG-AFTRA. She received her acting and filmmaking training from NYU Tisch's Stonestreet Studios. She studied and performed improv and sketch comedy at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The PIT, The Second City NYC and Gotham City Improv. Her writing can be seen on Funny Or Die, BarkPost, Love TV, The List, Home Life Media, Taste Of Home and Bridgehead Media. She is also sometimes called Megan or Meggie. And Scantron, Scantown, Scandalous and just about any other word that has "Scan" in it.