Safe Summer Fun


The dog days of summer can be dangerous for your dog. Warm weather brings a lot of problems for dogs because furry coats hold the heat. Left outside in the sun, dogs can suffer heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Because dogs have no sweat glands distributed throughout their bodies, they are more susceptible to heat-related discomforts and must rely on panting or sweating by their foot pads to deal with the heat and humidity. 

Like you, your dog will appreciate some help battling hot or humid weather.

Here are 10 easy tips to keep your dog cool. 

  1. To prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke (possibly death) never leave your dog in a car in the summer heat. Your car is an oven. Temperatures can reach over 120 degrees F. Cracking a window will not help. 
  2. Air conditioning is the best way to help your dog stay cool in the warm weather, but if you don't have that luxury, place fans in places where your dog likes to sleep. Window fans set on exhaust will help circulate the air inside your home and keep your dog from heating up. 
  3. When taking walks on very hot days put DOGGLES Sunglasses on your dog to protect his eyes, and limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Pavements get very hot and can burn your pet's paws. If the sidewalk is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your dog to walk on. Bring along water and make frequent water stops for the dog. Don't take long walks or over-exert in the summer. Consider these walks light exercise. 
  4. Allow your dog access to cooler rooms of the house, such as the basement, the garage, or a screened porch where there's a breeze. 
  5. Buy a kiddie or dog swimming pool and fill it with water for your dog to get into, wet down your dog with a garden hose, place a cool wet towel on your dog for evaporative cooling. 
  6. Keep your dog's water dish filled with cool, fresh water. Place ice cubes in the water during the hottest periods of the day. If you have water outside, pound a stake in the ground in his outdoor area. Place an angel food or bun cake pan with an opening in the center over the stake to keep your dog from tipping over the pan. Fill the pan with water. 
  7. Older and overweight dogs are more at risk from the heat, so be more sensitive to them in warm weather. Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but extra care needs to be taken with older dogs, overweight dogs, short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats. 
  8. Attach a dog licker to an outdoor faucet or hose in your dog's run. When he's thirsty, he licks the device to get fresh water. The licker can be attached to a hose and extended into your dog's run. (LIXIT Dog Faucet Waterer)
  9. If your dog stays outside in a dog house, make certain the house is placed in the shade. A dog house heated by the summer sun can be almost as deadly as a closed car. Cover the floor with cedar shaving to help retain the moisture in his skin. 
  10. Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on the nose and ear tips. Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. If you choose to clip your dog, keep in mind that shearing the hair close can leave your dog susceptible to sunburn. More summer heat tips for animals can be found at the ASPCA website.

Peanut Butter Pupsicles

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. (The water and banana aren't essential but help with freezing consistency.) 
  2. Line an ice cube tray or cookie sheet with wax paper. (You don't have to use the paper, but it can make prying the cubes out easier.) 
  3. Spoon the mixture into the cubes, or drop onto the tray just like you would cookie dough. 
  4. Freeze. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer. 
  5. Serve. Turn any hot dog into a happy camper.

More Cool Dog Treat Recipes