11 ways to keep pets cool in the summer

Paw-fectly cool 🐾

Dog licking an popsicle
(Image credit: @paws.of.josh)

Love your fur baby like an actual baby? The dog days of summer are here (wink wink), and as pet parents, it's essential to keep furry ones cool and comfy during the hottest months of the year (as well as keep yourself cool).

Whether you have a cat, dog, or even a li'l hamster (aww) we have some great advice for those summer months. An easy way to start is cooling down the whole room so everyone can benefit, win-win! 

 Sherry Shupe, founder of the award-winning Fur Baby Pet Resort, has shared her top 10 tips for keeping our four-legged friends cool throughout the summer months.   

1) Cooling Gel Pad or Pet Bed  

These are perfect for keeping your pet cool while they rest. The cooling gel pad works by absorbing your pet's body heat and dissipating it, leaving them feeling cool and refreshed. Make sure to supervise your pet while they use it and read the instructions carefully to ensure safe use. 

2) Mini Pool or Sprinkler  

Nothing beats a refreshing dip in the pool or a cool spray from a sprinkler. Set up a kiddie pool or sprinkler in your backyard to give your pet a fun and refreshing way to cool off. Just make sure to supervise your pets while they're in the water and keep the water clear and clean.  

3) Frozen Chews and Enrichment Toys 

Keep your pet entertained and cool with frozen chews and toys. Fill a hollow chew or enrichment toy with dog-safe peanut butter and freeze it for a sweet treat that will keep your pet occupied for hours. 

4) Icy Treats 

There's nothing like a cold treat on a hot day, and pets are no exception. Treat your pets to some frozen fruits, veggies, or even some dog-friendly ice cream. These treats will keep your pet cool and satisfied. 

Make sure to avoid treats with xylitol, as it is toxic to dogs. 

5) Shade 

Make sure your pet has access to shade at all times, whether it's under a tree or an umbrella. This will help keep them cool and protected from the sun's harmful rays.  

Pro Tip: Shupe suggests asking your groomer to use products with UV coat protection and pick up a bottle of pet sunscreen at your favorite pet boutique!  

6) Best Times to Walk 

Avoid walking your pet during the hottest parts of the day. Early morning and late evening walks are best to keep your pet cool and comfortable. 

7) Paw Protection 

Hot pavements can burn your pet's paws. Consider using booties or paw balm to protect their paws during walks. To test the sidewalk temperature, use the back of your hand. If it’s too hot to hold your hand down then it’s too hot for their paw pads.  

8) Cooling Vest 

Cooling vests are perfect for pets that love to be outdoors. These vests work by using evaporative cooling to keep your pet cool and comfortable. Simply soak the vest in cold water before putting it on your pet. Always make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and never leave your pet unsupervised while wearing the vest. 

9) Air Conditioning 

If you have air conditioning, make sure to keep it on during hot days to help keep your pet cool and comfortable. If you don't have air conditioning, consider setting up a fan in your pet's favorite spot.  

10) Doggie Daycare 

Enroll your dog at your local doggie daycare to keep them cool all summer long while enjoying playtime with their fellow furry friends under the air conditioner! 

Pro Tip: Great Daycare facilities are equipped to handle all types of weather. Shupe suggests asking for a full list of the summer enrichment activities as well as the safety protocols for extreme heat and storms performed at the daycare. 

11) Hydration 

Make sure your pet has access to fresh, clean water at all times. Consider adding a few ice cubes to their outside water bowl and keep it under the shade so it could keep cool and refreshed. 

Pro Tip: Some pets love chomping on ice cubes, but just like humans, this can cause dental issues. Instead, Shupe recommends making ice cubes from goat's milk or bone broth. 

Pet Safety

Heatstroke occurs when a pet's body temperature rises too high and can occur rather quickly. Symptoms of heatstroke include panting, excessive thirst, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. If you think your pet may have heatstroke, it is important to take them to the vet immediately.

Remember, it's essential to never leave your pet in a parked car during hot weather. Even with the windows cracked open, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to dangerous levels. By following these tips, you can help keep your furry friend cool, comfortable, and safe all summer long.

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.

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