Keep Puppies Cool in the Summer

Fill a child's wading pool with water for puppy cooling soaks and splashing fun. Image Copr. BK Hart, Vikki Hart/Stone/Getty Images

How do you keep your hot dog cool during hot summer days? Puppies can’t take off their fur, and too much sun could cause sunburn or even heatstroke. While it’s best to keep your puppy inside with air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day, there are some hot weather games you can play as well. For puppies that spend most of their time outside, it’s even more important to offer cool-dog options.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

9 Ways to Keep Puppies Cool

  • Provide Shady Rest. Outside pups especially need a shady spot to snooze. If you don’t have a handy shade tree, you can create a shaded top for the dog run.
  • Offer Cool Drinks. Plenty of cool water keeps puppies hydrated so they can stay cool by panting. Bumbling fur-kids might dump out the water bowl during play, though, and that could lead to serious problems. Dig a bucket-size hole and fit the watering pail inside so the puppy can’t tip it over. The surrounding soil also can help insulate and keep the water cool, especially if you float some ice in the water.
  • Create A Water Fountain. Purchase a water faucet attachment to turn your hose bib into a puppy water fountain. You can find specialized attachments such as the Lixit Faucet available from pet product stores turn outside faucets into 24/7 pet drinking fountains.
  • Freeze A Treat. Fill your puppy’s puzzle toy with soft food blended with chicken broth or water, and stick it in the freezer. Then offer these “pupsicle” treats to help your dog stay cool.
  • Get Misty. Misting fans and aerosols that spew water into the air also lower the temperature and keep pet fur damp. That helps your puppy cool off when the water evaporates. Misters can be placed on the porch, deck or near the puppy playpen.
  • Offer A Pool Party. Provide a kiddie wading pool for your puppy’s splashing pleasure. Set it in the shade and fill it up each day. Drop in a few floating dog toys and your retrievers can practice their water sports. Be sure your tiny pup can climb out so you don't risk him getting tired and drowning.
  • Dig A Dug Out. Create a sandbox in a shaded corner of the yard just for your hot-diggity dog to stay cool. Puppies that love to dig may excavate their own spot if you don't offer a legal outlet. Wet down the sand and it will stay cool for a couple of days, and a great place for King to scoop out a comfy nest during the heat of the day. It’s also cleaner and easier to shake out of fur than wet grass or mud.
  • Fit Him With Cool Technology. The same technology used to keep human athletes cool and comfortable during hot weather also works for pets. You can find cooling bandanas and collars, jackets, and cooling mats for indoor or outdoor lounging at a variety of pet products outlets.
  • Help Other Hot Dogs. The Helping Udders site features canine cooling vests and they accept donations to send these much-needed accessories to the working military dogs of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dogs equipped with cooling vests are able to work longer and stay healthier while clearing explosives--and of course, that means our military men and women also stay safer.