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Beat The Hot Weather: How To Keep A Dog Cool In The Summer

Summertime is here, which means the days are longer, the sun is brighter, and the temperature is rising. For most of us, that means nothing more than trading our sweaters for shorts and turning up the air conditioning. But what about our furry friends?

We FaceTime and Zoom with family and friends to check in during this hot season. But with our dogs, we have to get a little more creative. Like us, dogs can struggle to stay comfortable in hot weather.

From dehydration to exhaustion, there are plenty of health hazards out there. To ensure your dog doesn't suffer any of them, it's essential to know how to keep them cool and comfortable even in these extreme summer temperatures.

In this guide, we'll cover everything from proper hydration to creating a climate-controlled resting place for your pup so you can rest assured knowing they're taken care of all season long.

Understanding The Impact Of Heat Exhaustion On Dogs

Your dog needs help to keep cool when it's hot. But what is the exact reason? When it comes to keeping your dog cool in hot weather, the most important thing to understand is the dangers of heat exhaustion.

During hot weather, dogs must be able to regulate their body temperature by panting and exchanging hot air for cool air. Your dog may suffer heat exhaustion if it becomes too hot and fails to control its temperature. This can lead to serious health issues.

Signs Of Heatstroke In Dogs

Common symptoms of heat exhaustion in dogs include excessive panting, weakness or lethargy, drooling, trouble breathing, vomiting or diarrhea, and unconsciousness.

Panting black dog in a park

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, immediately cool them down with cold, wet towels and move them into a shaded or air-conditioned area. It's also important to call your vet for further advice if your dog's condition does not improve quickly.

Watch for any of these signs in your pup outdoors on hot days. While you may think they're just acting tired from the heat, heatstroke could be the cause.

If possible, monitor their temperature by taking their rectal temperature with a thermometer every 10 minutes or so. Anything above 104°F requires urgent veterinary attention.

Rest And Hydration Tips For Hot Weather

It's easy to keep your dog healthy and comfortable in the summer, but you'll need some helpful tips on rest and hydration. Here are five tips to remember when keeping your pup cool in hot weather.


Find a shady spot for your pup. Keep him out of direct sunlight for extended periods, and ensure he has access to shade when playing outside or enjoying an outdoor adventure. If you have an outdoor living space, set up a few umbrellas and awnings to give your pup great cover from the day's heat.


Dogs need plenty of fresh water in all kinds of weather, so always have a bowl filled with clean water on hand and keep it topped off throughout the day. Dogs often don't drink enough water on their own and will be more likely to stay hydrated if you have a dedicated water bowl in every area where they can access it easily.

Cooling Mats

Cooling mats help lower body temperatures by drawing heat away from your pup's skin into the mat's surface. These are especially useful for dogs that spend more time indoors than outside during hot days.

You can also use this on puppies with thick fur coats or who spend lots of time lounging in one spot. Just be sure not to leave cooling mats in direct sunlight or drafts.

Ice Cubes

Adding a few ice cubes to your dog's drinking water is another excellent way to cool him down from the inside out!

How To Keep A Dog Cool In The Summer With Cool Air

When the temperatures soar, ensuring your pup has plenty of shade and airflow is essential for keeping them cool. A few basic steps can go a long way to keep your pet comfortably cool.

First, give your dog a shady spot in the yard or on the porch of your home. If you don't have enough shade to keep your pup comfortable, try setting up a pop-up tent or sun shelter to provide cover from the heat of the day.

Dog sleeping on a porch

Setting up a few fans around the house can also help with airflow and temperature control. If you don't have any fans, some portable fans run off batteries that you can quickly move around. This is perfect for keeping your pup comfortable in any space.

Regulating Body Temperature With Cooling Vests And Pads

Keeping your pup cool and comfortable during the summer heat isn't just about providing access to fresh water and taking mid-day walking breaks. There are also items designed to help regulate your pet's body temperature, in particular when a dog is suffering from heat stroke, sunburn, or hot spots on their body.

Cooling Vests

Cooling vests come in all shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your pup perfectly. They use lightweight materials insulated with a water-retention layer, helping to cool your dog by evaporation.

These vests usually have adjustable straps for a snug fit, often made with a reflective outer layer for extra protection. And because it's unnecessary to soak these vests in water before wearing them, they're easy to use and maintain.

Wetting them before use and then hanging them up afterward is enough. When they're dry, they can be safely stored away.

Cooling Pads

If your pup prefers lying down rather than wearing something extra like a cooling vest, you can get them a cooling pad instead! These pads function similarly to vests. They're made of lightweight material with an insulation layer that holds water so it can evaporate over time.

After each use, wet the pad and let it air or fan-dry. Many cooling pads have antifungal properties, too, for added hygiene.

Alternatively, some cooling pads come with ice packs for quicker cooling effects but would need more frequent replacements due to reduced efficiency over time.

Whether you opt for a cooling vest or pad, you can ensure your pup is happy and healthy this summer!

Grooming Tips To Help Keep Dogs Cool

If the weather is hot, chances are your pup is feeling it too! Grooming your dog will help keep them cool in the heat.

Short haircuts are best, although some breeds can't help but have long fur. Here are other grooming tips that may work for you.

Frequent Brushing

Brushing your pup regularly, especially before and after outdoor activities, will help remove dead fur and dirt from their coat, which helps keep them cool. Ensure you're using a brush suited to their breed and fur type!


If you opt for a shaggy cut, that's OK. You can trim the fur around their feet and the tip of their tail. This will keep them from getting tangled up in foliage on walks and help with air circulation.


Pups love baths, so use that to your advantage. Think of it like taking an ice-cold shower on a hot summer day. Use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs, as other shampoos can strip away moisture from their coat!

Grooming is essential all year round, especially in the hotter months when your pup needs extra TLC! Ensuring they are well-groomed helps reduce excess fur build-up and keeps them comfortable even when temperatures soar.

Pupsicle Recipe To Keep Your Dog Hydrated

We all scream for popsicles, especially our furry friends! Like us, pups need an extra boost on a hot summer day. If you want to treat your dog to something special and ensure they're hydrated, here's a simple DIY popsicle recipe they'll love.

Brown dog eating popsicle

Step-by-Step Instructions

Making pup popsicles is easy and can help your dog stay cool in the summer heat. Start by gathering plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter with no sugar additives, and plain oatmeal.

Mix the ingredients in a bowl until they form a thick paste. Grease the inside of a mold with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray. Scoop the paste into the mold and tap it firmly to eliminate air bubbles.

Next, place them inside your freezer for about two hours or until fully frozen. Then take the pup pops out of the freezer and serve them to your dog! They'll love it! Store extra pup pops in an airtight container in the freezer for future frozen treats!

These homemade pup popsicles are a great way to let your furry friend cool off while still providing them with healthy ingredients they'll love! Plus, you can customize them with various flavors and added goodies like honey or berries for an extra sweet treat. Just make sure to do your research and avoid ingredients that may harm your dog!


What temperature is too hot for a dog?

Anything over 75°F can be pretty uncomfortable for your pup, and temperatures above 85°F can become dangerous. So if it's hot out, make sure you're taking precautions.

What activities should I avoid during hot weather with my dog?

Avoid strenuous activities with your dog during the warmer months, including long hikes and jogs and vigorous games like tug of war or Frisbee. These types of activities can cause dehydration or heatstroke.

How do I keep my dog cool indoors?

Make sure plenty of cool water is available at all times, and consider investing in a cooling mat or cooling vest to help him keep his cool should the temperature start to soar indoors. Other options include providing fans or air conditioning units pointed in his direction or letting him lounge on cool surfaces like tile flooring.

Are dogs OK in a house without air-conditioning?

Your pets can usually tolerate indoor temperatures without AC if your home is well-ventilated. Follow our tips to keep your dog cool during hot or warm weather.

Can I spray my dog with water to cool down?

Yes! It's a great idea to mist your dog regularly to keep them cool in summer temperatures. You can also let your dog go through garden sprinklers as a more active alternative!

Should you shave your dog's coat to keep them cool?

No! Your dog's coat helps them with cooling down. Besides that, their coat serves many other functions like protection and moisture regulation. Shaved-off dogs are susceptible to bug bites and sunburn.

Can I smash a window to free a dog from a hot car?

Laws against keeping animals inside hot cars vary from place to place. The best action will be to call authorities if you're concerned about a dog's state inside someone else's car.

Keeping your dog cool and comfortable in hot weather requires planning and effort. You can do many things to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy in the heat.

Keep an eye on your pet for signs of heat-related distress, provide plenty of shade and cool drinking water, and plan for days when the temperatures will be at their peak.

With the proper knowledge and preparations, you can keep your pet safe and happy as the temperatures climb.

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