During the dog days of summer, it’s often our four-legged friends who suffer the most. Muggy weather, thunderstorms, fireworks, and endless travel can leave some pets feel tired and dehydrated. Especially in triple-digit temps, it’s essential to keep your dog cool, comfortable and hydrated. You don’t need an in-ground pool, tropical breeze, or jumbo fan to keep things breezy; these genius ways to cool down dogs are all easy and inexpensive.
1. Kiddie pools are going to the dogs.
Sorry kids – four-legged fur babies are dipping their paws in the pool, too. Have separate pools for dogs and kids to avoid stress and squabbles over sharing. Pick a sturdy material resistant to claws and paws – a quick nail clip is a good idea too – like hard plastic, PVC, or rubber. Avoid inflatable dog pools, which are easily punctured.
Place the pool in a (preferably) shady area, but let your dog enjoy the sunshine, too! In really hot weather, try filling a dog pool with ice for a cool surprise. Throw in some rubber dog toys or set up a nearby sprinkler to keep Fido entertained during dips in the doggie pool.
Our picks: The Rubbermaid 50 gallon stock tank is a great chew-proof dog pool for puppies and dogs 100+ pounds, but is fairly bulky. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly classic, check out the Polygroup plastic dog pool; a 3-foot diameter is easy to fill with ice.
2. Set up a sprinkler.
Place a sprinkler in the yard to cool down dogs and kids! Some pups love to chase the stream of water, trying to catch it in their mouth. Any human sprinkler will do, although they do make a dog-friendly sprinkler that’s chew-proof. Keep pets from chewing on metal or plastic sprinklers, which can severely damage a dog’s stomach if pieces are ingested.
The hottest part of the day – noon and from 4 to 7pm – calls for a sprinkler. Be eco-friendly by placing the sprinkler on sections of the yard that need watering anyways. Set up a sprinkler to spray over a dog pool for the ultimate doggie water paradise.
3. A dog fountain keeps water on-demand.
Invest in a dog fountain to ensure your pet is properly hydrated, making clean, fresh water available 24/7. Water fountains for dogs provide clean, often filtered water to drink. Animals are more drawn to running water, as their natural instincts tell them its liikely disease- and bug-free. Outdoor dog fountains typically connect to a garden hose or DIY’d pipe; dog fountains of the indoor variety have a tank that dispenses water or require regular topping up.
Always check your dog fountain for chewable parts, like cords or plastic spouts. In hot weather, dogs need to drink one ounce of water for every pound of their weight. Never leave standing water outside over night, especially in areas where mosquitos are widespread. Change your pet’s fountain water regularly, and add ice for a cool suprise.
Our picks: A fence- or wall-mounted stainless steel dog fountain, the Nelson Automatic Dog Waterer is perfect for multiple dogs or pets with extreme thirst. The Drinkwell Big Dog fountain has a deep bowl to avoid splash-out and has an activated-charcoal filter. To water the whole fur family, try the Drinkwell 360 fountain; five separate water streams ensure everyone has their fill.
4. Whip up some pupsicles!
There’s nothing better than a cool, sweet treat to beat the heat of the day. Let dogs in on the fun by making a batch of pupsicles! Add dog-friendly fruits and veggies to a chicken or beef broth; freeze in popsicle molds or muffin tins – use a rawhide stick as a “handle.” For a sweeter pupsicle, freeze plain yogurt.
Never give your dog real ice cream or novelty treats, like popsicles or ice cream sandwiches. For pupsicles on-the-go, freeze your mixture of choice in ice cube trays. Most pupsicles are human-safe too! Swap sticks for rawhides and make a double patch of pupsicles for kids and dogs.
Our picks: Substitute any fruit for oranges in this easy pupsicle recipe from Modern Dog magazine. Use stock and chopped meat to make these delicious DIY chicken pupsicles. Check out our Pinterest for more DIY dog treat recipes!
5. Bring a dog-friendly floaty to the pool.
If you have access to a dog-friendly pool, bring along Fido and a floaty! Dog pool floats and loungers are designed for optimal doggie comfort, allowing pets to dip a paw in the pool without taking the plunge. While technically a dog can use any ol’ floaty, it’s important to pick a pet-friendly product made of sturdy materials.
Watch out for sunburn in dogs, especially those with thin or light-colored fur. Even though your pet is in the pool, he still needs to drink plenty of water – an ounce for every pound he weighs.
Our picks: The SwimWays Spring Float Paddle Paws comes in three sizes; the large holds dogs up to 65 lbs. Even the most water-averse dogs will be comforted by the buoyancy and sturdiness of Frontgate’s dog pool float and lounger, which can hold dogs up to 80 lbs in the largest size.
(Featured image via Flickr.com/62266120@N07)