How can you keep dogs cool AND busy in the summer? We’ve gathered up seven ideas to help Fido chill both figuratively and literally! Check out our ideas below for inspiration, and let the summer fun begin!
Related: 5 Summer Outdoor Safety Tips for Dogs You Need to Know
How to Keep Dogs Cool and Busy in the Summer
The hottest months of the year are almost here! We humans have various ways to keep ourselves cool in the summer. We also have plenty of ways to fill our day with fun activities!
But what about our fur babies? They can’t just head out to the air-conditioned movies for the afternoon! They also can’t go to most waterparks…
Still, you can do plenty of things to help your dog cool down right in your own home or backyard. Just keep reading to find out what they are!
FYI, we included affiliate links below. We earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links.
Related: Know the signs of dehydration in dogs
1. Kiddie Pool Play Time
Using a kiddie pool to keep your dog cool in the summer can be a great way to help them beat the heat! Everyone loves a cool bath on a hot day, and our pets are no different. A kiddie pool is a simple and affordable solution that can provide hours of fun for your furry friend.
Simply fill the pool with water, maybe toss in a few of your dog’s favorite toys, and let Fido splash around to their heart’s content. Not only will this help them cool down, but it can also provide entertainment and exercise. Just make sure to supervise your dog while they’re in the pool to ensure their safety.
When you’re shopping for a pool, keep in mind that plastic works best. Ideally, go with a pool specifically designed for dogs. But definitely avoid inflatable! That probably goes without saying, but inflatable pools pop way too easily under your dog’s nails.
2. Frozen Doggie Treats
These frozen dog treats are an amazingly easy and affordable way to help Fido beat the eat. We used strawberry and blueberry, but you can freeze just about any combination of dog-safe liquids and fruits/veggies. Here are a few other ideas that you can try:
- Frozen yogurt and banana bites: Blend together plain yogurt and mashed ripe bananas and pour the mixture into ice cube trays or silicone molds. Freeze for a few hours, then pop the treats out and give them to your pup.
- Peanut butter and pumpkin pupsicles: Mix together canned pumpkin, peanut butter, and water, and pour the mixture into ice pop molds. Freeze for a few hours, then give the treats to your dog.
- Chicken and veggie ice cubes: Boil chicken breast and blend it with veggies like carrots and green beans. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. These cubes can be added to your dog’s food or given as a treat.
- Blueberry and yogurt drops: Blend together fresh or frozen blueberries and plain yogurt, and drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for a few hours, then remove the drops and store them in a container in the freezer.
- Frozen apple slices: Cut apples into thin slices and freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, store the slices in a container in the freezer and give them to your dog as a refreshing treat.
3. Homemade Doggie Ice Cream
Speaking of frozen treats, you can also whip up some dog-friendly ice cream with just a few cheap ingredients. My dog loves “Nice Cream” made from bananas and peanut butter. I keep bananas in the freezer all summer long. Then, I pop one into a blender along with some peanut butter (I don’t really measure it, but I’d say maybe 1/4 cup per banana), hit the button, and voila!
For another super easy recipe, check out our 3-ingredient frozen yogurt!
4. Frozen toys with treats in them
Do you have a Kong for your dog? If so, pop it in the freezer for a few hours, then stuff if with some of your dog’s favorite treats (or just smear PB inside, which is what I do). This is a great way too cool down any dog in the summer, but it’s especially wonderful for teething puppies.
If you don’t have a Kong and don’t want to spend the money on one, you can freeze other types of toys instead. Some options that work well include rope toys soaked in water (so they get sort of icy), tennis balls (they do “thaw” pretty fast, though), and pretty much any type of rubbery toy.
5. A cooling vest
Have you ever seen those little microfiber towels that you run under cold water and wrap around your neck to cool off? Well, this is the same concept in a dog-friendly style. They come in sizes from XS to XL and they’re super lightweight. You can also find vests that hold ice packs and whatnot, but I find that these work a lot better. Ice melts too fast.
6. A cooling bandanna
The thing about the vest above is that your dog has to be willing to wear it. My dog HATES clothes with a fiery passion. A cooling bandana is a good compromise because, to her, it’s kind of like a collar. To make one, you just need a regular old bandanna, some water, and a freezer.
Wet the bandana and keep it in the freezer. On a hot day, run it under some cool water (otherwise it’s super stiff and hard to put on) and tie it onto your pooch.
7. A haircut for longer-haired pups
Okay, so this may be a bit of an obvious tip, but I’m mentioning it anyway because sometimes it’s easy to overlook the obvious. If you have a pup with long or thick fur, consider giving them a trim to help with keeping cool. Hey, as someone with long and thick hair myself, I KNOW for a fact that it helps A LOT.
Here are some other “probably obvious, but still worth mentioning” tips to consider:
- Provide plenty of fresh, cool water: Dogs need to stay hydrated in hot weather, so make sure they have access to plenty of clean water throughout the day.
- Make sure Fido has a shaded area to relax outdoors: Make sure your dog has access to a shady spot, whether it’s under a tree, on a covered porch, or inside your home.
- Avoid hot pavement: Walking on hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws, so try to walk them during cooler times of the day or on grassy surfaces.
- NEVER leave your dog in the car: Even with the windows cracked, a car can quickly become dangerously hot in the summer, so it’s best to avoid leaving your dog in the car altogether.
- Keep your home cool: If your dog spends a lot of time indoors, make sure your home is cool and comfortable. Use fans or air conditioning to keep the temperature down.
- Watch for signs of overheating: Dogs can easily overheat in hot weather, so watch for signs like excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, and take steps to cool them down if necessary.
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended). Hopefully, these will give you some inspiration to come up with your own ideas.
Do you have any fun ways to keep your dogs cool and busy this summer? Share below!
Last update on 2023-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API