6 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool and Hydrated in Summer
For many of us, summer means getting outdoors. But summer is hot. And heat not only affects us but our dogs as well. Follow these six tips to help keep your dog cool and hydrated during the dog days of summer:
1. Have fresh, clean water available at all times.
Help prevent dehydration by making sure your dog always has access to fresh water. You may not notice your dog drinking water very often, but that's all the more reason for it to be there when they do decide it's time to stop for a drink.
Moving water tends to feel colder, and that makes it extra appealing to dogs. An automatic water fountain is a great tool for keeping your dog hydrated, and many have built-in filters to help keep water clean and fresh.
Another way to encourage your dog to drink is to place multiple wide water dishes in areas of your home where your dog hangs out.
2. Add moisture to your dog's meals
Fresh, frozen or wet food can help deliver a little extra hydration to your pet’s daily meals. Layer fresh, frozen or wet dog food on top of their kibble (you may need to adjust their kibble amount so you don’t accidentally add more calories) or consider switching to a fresh or frozen meal option entirely.
If you’re not ready to fully switch your pet’s nutrition, toppers like broths and gravies can easily be poured on top of your dog’s meals for extra moisture and added nutrients. If your dog leaves their bowl for too long, pick it up and replace it when they’re ready to resume eating to avoid bacteria growth.
3. Cool off with a comb-out
Help your dog keep cool in warm weather by adopting a good grooming routine. While regular grooming is always essential, brushing away old hair in summer (often peak shedding time) is like taking off your dog's sweater. A clean, sleek pooch will feel refreshed on a summer day.
4. Adjust your walking routine
With the bright summer sun heating up both the air and walking surfaces, adjust the time of day that you walk or move to cooler surfaces like grass or a dirt trail. Always bring fresh water for your furry friend—even on short walks! On extremely hot days, just keep your best friend inside with the AC (or a cool fan) and plenty of fresh water.
As an extra precaution, keep their tender pads covered with paw protection.
5. Enjoy beach and pool time in moderation
While the water at the beach can be cooling, it can be dehydrating when slurped up. Similarly, pool water, if consumed, isn’t the best for your pet. And hot sand, concrete and sun can be taxing on your pet. Keep plenty of drinking water and your dog's travel bowl on hand and find a nice shady spot where your pooch can get out of the sun. A beach umbrella works well, too, if you’re planning to stay awhile If not, keep moving and head home when your pet gets tired.
Whenever your dog is spending time in the sun, apply pet-safe sunscreen to their ears, nose and anywhere else they have bare skin or thin fur (this is especially important for white-furred dogs).