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How to Keep an Outside Dog Cool in the Summer

How to Keep an Outside Dog Cool in the Summer

When the weather heats up, you may find yourself a little worried about your outside dog. It can get really hot sometimes, so you want to make sure your outside dog has ways to keep cool. The best approaches to keep an outside dog cool in the summer involve lots of shade away from the sun and cool water to drink.

It's important to keep your outside dog cool in the summer.

Heat Can Be Dangerous to Dogs

Heat can be dangerous for dogs. That's why you should never leave a pet in a car in the summer, not even for a brief moment.1 On an 85 °F day, a car can heat up to 120 °F—even with the windows cracked open. Leaving a dog outdoors, without any way to cool down, can be dangerous too. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal. Even humidity can cause issues for your pet. That's why it's important to be extra cautious with your dog during the summer.

Bring Your Dog Inside if You Can

Of course, the best advice is to bring your dog into a cool, indoor air-conditioned location. Whether it's an indoor-outdoor patio with AC or a crate with a comfy pad in your cooled home, the indoors is the easiest solution. But for some people, bringing a dog inside isn't always an option. If you need to leave your dog outside, the tips below can help your pup stay nice and cool.

How to Keep Your Outside Dog Cool

Not everyone can bring their outside dog indoors. Don't despair; there are still lots of things you can do to help your outside dog stay cool and not get overheated.

  1. Provide plenty of water, chilled if possible. Your dog needs plenty of water so he doesn't get dehydrated. Make sure you use a bowl he won't accidentally tip over. Chilled water is even better. The Coolin' Bowl can keep water cool for up to 15 hours without any electricity. Just freeze the bowl overnight and add water in the morning.
  2. Make sure there's lots of shade away from the sun. Lots of shade is vital, but it needs to be reliable shade. Trees aren't always reliable because the sun changes direction during the day and might leave your dog without shade when he needs it most. A Pet Cot Canopy, however, can ensure your dog has shade no matter what time of day it is. This comes in multiple sizes and colors and attaches to many pet beds. Consider using it with a bed that is elevated off the hot ground, like the Original Pet Cot.
  3. Give your dog cooled mats. A chilled bed is another great way to help your pet stay cool when it's warm outside. To make it extra cool, use a Coolin' Pet Cot that's elevated off the ground. You might be interested in knowing that a fan isn't a great solution for your pup.2 Since dogs tend to sweat more through their feet and by panting, rather than through their bodies, a fan doesn't work as well for them as it does for a person.
  4. Don't let your pup walk on hot cement or asphalt. Make sure your dog has places to walk or hang out that aren't cement or asphalt. Sidewalks and concrete can get unbearably hot during the day and burn your poor dog's feet. Ideally, have a shaded patio or an area with a roof that's well ventilated for your dog. Dog houses generally aren't recommended because they have poor airflow and can get overheated if they're not designed especially for hot summers.
  5. Play in the water. Letting your dog play in the water can cool your dog down too. If you can't be with your dog to supervise him, consider setting up a low-flow misting system that can run during the day. If you're going to be with your dog, go all out with a kiddie play pool and have fun.
Although the best solution for outdoor dogs is to bring them indoors during the hottest summer months, you can use these tips to keep your outside dog cool when he really needs it. Providing lots of shade and chilled water is a great place to start.

1. The Humane Society of the United States. "Keep Pets Safe in the Heat.",

2. Conaboy, Kelly. "Do Fans Work on Dogs?" The Cut, 17 July 2019,

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