5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool and Comfortable During Summer

A dog with white fur on its stomach and brown/reddish fur on its head is in a hammock and wearing sunglasses

As much as we wish we could spend all day having fun at home with our canine family members, that is, unfortunately, not a luxury that most people have. Most likely, your dog often needs to be left at home out of necessity, and it’s important that she has a safe and comfortable place to be until you return. Summer temperatures can make this more challenging, especially for dogs with thicker coats.

To maximize your dog’s comfort during the warmer months of the year, give these 5 tips a try!

1. Keep your dog hydrated with their very own drinking fountain.

Good hydration is essential to your dog’s health and comfort, and when compared with a bowl of water, pet fountains definitely have a competitive edge. Unlike a drinking bowl, pet fountains have the added benefit of charcoal and foam filters that improve the quality of the drinking water. The water’s constant movement through the fountain also prevents mosquito breeding and algae and bacteria growth.

If you intend to put the fountain outside, make sure that the fountain you buy is suitable for outdoor usage, like this highly-rated 3.5-gallon fountain from Drinkwell. Using an indoor-only fountain outdoors can pose a safety risk to your pet.

2. Provide your dog with plenty of shade.

To ensure your dog’s well-being, it is NOT recommended to keep your dog alone outdoors for long periods of time. However, when your dog is outside, provide her with as much shade as you can. Trees and other tall coverings will provide more cooling shade than a dog house because dog houses have a tendency to trap heat.

3. Opt for a raised, cot-style bed over a plush bed.

These beds help your dog stay cool by keeping them off of the ground while they sleep. Some “dog cots” are constructed with sturdy mesh in the center for extra ventilation. If you plan on bringing the bed outdoors, you can attach the canopy for some shade.

4. Help your dog relax in comfort with self-cooling gel pads.

These pads can be used on the floor, on the patio, in your dog’s bed, in their crate, and just about anywhere else your dog wants to lie down. The gel within these pads is pressure-activated and starts cooling upon contact.

Best of all: there is no refrigeration or electricity required, and the cooling lasts for up to 3 hours. Who knows--you might even want one for yourself! Just make sure to steer away from cheaply-made versions and opt for a more well-reviewed product, like these mats from The Green Pet Shop.

5. Make use of your programmable thermostat, and keep your curtains closed.

If you know your home tends to get particularly warm in the late afternoon, close your curtains in the morning, and schedule your programmable thermostat to kick on later in the day to help keep your dog comfortable. Remember: it’s not easy making it through summer with a fur coat you can’t take off!

If your thermostat comes with a mobile app that allows you to monitor and control your home’s temperature, keep an eye on it on particularly hot days to see if any adjustments need to be made.

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