The origin of the phrase “dog days of summer” is from a period of time in which Greek and Roman astrology connected were connected with heat, lethargy, drought, sudden thunderstorms, bad luck and mad dogs. Today, we consider the “dog days” those that are the most uncomfortable, humid and hottest parts of the summer. 

Dog parents understand the need to keep their dogs cool during the summer months.

To protect your dog, it’s important you don’t: 

  1. Take a long walk with your dog in the midst of a heatwave. Check the pavement with your hand before you walk your dog, if you can’t keep your hand on it, don’t let your dog walk on it — he can burn his delicate paw pads.
  2. EVER leave her in a car
  3. Leave him out in the sun without access to shade and fresh, cool water

Those are a few don’ts for protecting your dog in the heat of the summer.

5 Ways To Help Your Dog Keep Cool

Water! Give your dog a swimming pool to relax in. Some dogs absolutely love water! Invest in a plastic “kiddie” pool, fill it with water, drop in a few toys and watch your dog go crazy! Your dog may enjoy running through a sprinkler or the spray from a hose (if you spray the hose, make sure you run the water first so no hot water comes out). 

You will also need to make sure your dog — both indoors and outdoors — always has access to fresh, clean water. Fill the water bowls regularly. Consider dropping some ice cubes into a bowl of water and letting them melt — this will give your dog cool water. 

Cooling products. Invest in a cooling mat or a cooling coat for your pup. These products do literally what the name says — they cool off your pet when he is laying on, or wearing it. Keeping your dog’s core body temperature regulated — especially large, furry dogs — is important to his health and well-being. 

Cooling mats are ideal if you’re heading out for a picnic or traveling. The cooling mats are cool to the touch and cool the dog down when she lays on it. You don’t have to have electricity and your don’t won’t get wet — a plus! 

Make your dog a cool treat! No one wants to spend time in the kitchen on a hot summer day and if you’re making pupsicles you won’t have to! You don’t even really need a recipe! 

Grab a few ice cube trays, put in some bone broth or beef or vegetable broth, drop in some cut up veggies or your dog’s favorite kibble, pop in the freezer. Take some plain, or vanilla, yogurt and put that into an ice cube tray, drop in a few pieces of cut up fruit, freeze. Viola delicious, cool treats. 

A shady space. If you’re outdoors with your dog, just chilling and relaxing together, make sure you have a shady spot for your dog to relax in. Some dogs may not want to be in the shade and that’s okay — for a little while. Offering your dog’s shade should be part of every time you’re outside with her — even on a walk, try to choose the shady side of the street. 

Dogs can get sunburned, too. If you’re going to be outside, consider getting dog-centric sunblock to protect your pup’s delicate ears and nose. If you have a short-haired dog you may want to cover his body in sunblock. 

Keep cool indoors. If you’re indoors with your dog or if you have to leave them when you go to work or run errands, make sure they are in a cool house. Close the curtains to keep the sun and the heat out. Turn on the air conditioning and/or have fans circulating air throughout the house. Set up fans in different parts of the house to create a cross breeze to cool your pups down. 

Give them a pupsicle or a food toy to keep them entertained. Turn DOGTV on to keep them relaxed and rest assured they will be cool while you’re gone. If your dogs lie in their crates or on the floor or couch in the direct line of the breeze the fans or air conditioning are created, they will stay cool during the dog days of summer. 

How do you keep your dogs cool in the summer heat? What are your favorite pupsicle treat recipes?