Nothing says summer like tail-wagging fun with your furry best friend! Whether your dog is a brand-new addition to the family or a long-standing member of your pack, warm weather is the best time to enjoy some outside entertainment with your pup! To help you kick-off summertime excitement, we’ve compiled this list of summer dog safety tips and pup-approved play ideas.
1. Get out the Sprinkler
While swimming may not be a great fit for every dog, your pup can still enjoy a cool down during hot weather. Simply set up your sprinkler in your backyard, turn it on, and let your dog have a wet and wild time! Before you let your pup enjoy some sprinkler time, be sure to remove any dangerous objects like sticks, garden tools, or furniture that may be in their way.
2. Take a Swim
Whether you have a pool in your backyard, a designated dog beach in your community, or a dog-friendly lake nearby, taking your aquatic pup for a swim is a great way to cool off and have some fun!
Before you take your pup for a dip, be sure swimming is a right fit. While dogs like Labradors have a natural affinity for water, others may not. Forcing hesitant pups into water can be dangerous and stressful for your pup. Additionally, keep an eye on your dog’s energy level. Even if your pup loves water, they can become tired quickly. If you notice your pup getting tired, take a break with some treats and scritches!
3. Go for Morning Walks
Soothing morning temperatures are perfect for getting active with your dog. Whether you’re an avid jogger or enjoy a leisurely stroll around your neighborhood, the cooler morning weather is a great time to include your pup in your daily routine.
Morning walks also mean cool pavement, which is better for your pup’s paws. Sidewalks can heat up throughout the day and become too hot for your dog’s feet!
4. Designate a Doggy Fan
You can help your pup cool off from summertime fun by placing a fan near their favorite napping spot. Keep the fan at a low to medium setting and far enough away from your pup that they can’t knock it over. Be sure to use a small, quiet fan. Large box fans can be noisy, causing stress and interrupted sleep.
5. Build a Sun Shelter
While traditional dog houses are great during winter, their enclosed design can trap heat in the summer. An open-sided structure with a wide roof is the ideal way to shield your dog from the sun while also keeping them cool. If possible, place your pup’s sun shelter under shade trees for added protection.
Though sun shelters will keep your pup cool during hot weather, never leave your dog outside unsupervised for extended periods of time (during any season). Prolonged exposure to heat – even with a sun break – can impact your pup’s health. This is especially true with certain breeds like brachycephalic dogs (“smooshed-face” breeds like bull dogs). Exposing these dogs to temperatures over 80 – 85 degrees for too long can be dangerous … even fatal.
If your dog is like most pups, they’ll be ready to help you construct their sun shelter with plenty of licks and tail-wagging encouragement.
6. Buy a Kiddy Pool
While deeper water in pools or lakes may be exciting for larger dogs, the shallow depths of a kiddy pool are perfect for all sizes, ages, and breeds! And the best part: You can also take part in your dog’s watery gratification! Whether you want to sit in the water or simply soak your feet, you can cool off with your pup and have your own backyard fun.
7. Add Ice to Water Bowls
Adding ice to your dog’s water bowl helps them cool down in a hurry after a busy day of play. Bonus: Some dogs love to play with ice cubes, which means you get to watch your pup cool down and be super cute at the same time. Be sure to add ice cubes to plenty water; ice cubes by themselves can be a choking hazard, especially with smaller dogs.
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Wilson has written for brands in the tech, e-commerce, construction, health, and finance industries. In his free time, he enjoys cooking for friends and family, spoiling his dog-daughter (Penny), painting, and playing music with friends. And speaking of food, his favorite meal is his mom’s pot roast and mashed potatoes!