Pawsome Ways to Cool Down Your Dog This Sizzling Summer

Worried about how to keep your dog cool during the heat of summer? Yes, it’s the dog days of summer. And wow, it’s a hot diggity dog diggity hot dog of a summer. Sorry, I had to pop that tongue twister in there just because it’s fun and how often do you get to use it? Do you know how to keep your dog properly cool when it’s hot? There are a few tricks and you don’t have to spend a lot either. Today, let’s dig in and discover how to cool down your dog in the heat of summer.

simple ways to cool down your dog in the summer heat
disclaimer note

*Updated: July 10, 2024

Budget Tip:

The best part of how to keep your dog cool in summer is that you don't need to spend a lot of money. If you do buy special items, they can generally be used for many summers to come. In the end, anything that helps keep our dogs cool, healthy, and happy, is generally worth a look. In most cases, it is worth the cost. Plus, remember the costs of these items are generally not large. But if you need, you can start setting aside money each month for a your dog's pet savings account. Keeping your dog cool is definitely budget-friendly and a huge win-win for you and your dog!

1. Fun ways to cool your dog and kids 

Splash Pad 

These are always fun and both these kids and dogs enjoy the water fun while staying cool. I’m always surprised at how durable and economical they are for a kid and dog backyard. 

This is a fun splash pad your dog may enjoy and your kids too!

Dog and Kiddie Swim Pool 

This is always a fun one. I remember summer fun in my little kiddie pool with my dog. Can you believe they are now durable and even foldable to use season after season? Wow! Progress!

This is a fun portable and foldable kiddie pool. I have this one for Henry!

Splash Sprinklers 

Another fun summer kid and dog cool-down classic. Who hasn’t run through a sprinkler and loved it? 

Water Hose Fun 

summer dog

The original water gun. This one never gets old. It’s like tag, but with the hose. Whoever has the hose is king or queen and the dog is happy to supervise and get wet on both sides. 

Learn how to create the dog backyard of your dreams on a budget in this article. 

2. How to cool your dog down or keep him cool

Cooling Mat 

This one works better inside. It does help keep your dog cool. It may not do such a great job of getting him cool though. Here’s one your dog may love!

Wet Towel

If your dog is looking like he’s getting overheated, a wet towel is always a perfect go-to trick for a quick temperature drop. 

Dog Cooling Vest    

My dog has enjoyed his cooling vest since nearly the day I got him. I’m always surprised at how long it stays cool. On extremely hot days, I’ll put it in ice water and let it soak for 30-60 minutes before I put it on him. It will stay cool for about 5-6 hours. This one is very similar to my dog, Henry’s, current cooling vest.

Wonder if a dog cooling vest really works? In this article, I go into the details and share with you how to create your own.

Henry enjoy a bit of dog shade with his cooling vest.
Henry loves his cooling vest and a bit of shade in the summer.

Ice Water

Put a few ice cubes in his water to help drop his temperature. Also, many dogs will like to drink more water with ice. 

Frozen Chew Toys   

Just like you enjoy something cool or cold on a hot day, so will your dog. It will help keep him cool. 

Frozen Treats

Similar to a frozen chew toy, this will help cool your dog off. However, it won’t last as long. Some dogs don’t like toys or don’t understand toys as well, like my dog Henry. This is a great option for these dogs. 

In this post, I talk about various treats for your dog, including frozen treats.

3. How to protect your dog from the hot summer heat


Make sure your dog has lots of water during the summer. Water is especially critical for dogs in summer. Remember not only will he drink more water, but his water will evaporate quickly as well. Also, don’t forget to clean his water at least once a day. This will help to encourage him to drink as well. 

Dog Booties   

Your dog’s paws are delicate. Paw booties are great to protect them from hot sidewalks, rough rocks, toxic weeds and plants, chemicals, and cold in the winter. Surprisingly, it only takes a few minutes for most dogs to adjust to wearing booties. 


Just as you need to protect your skin from sunburns and skin cancer, you also need to protect your dog’s skin in the same manner. However, it’s important to select a sunscreen that is free of zinc oxide and PABA. Both are toxic to dogs. 

Learn more about the details of sunscreen for dogs and pets in this article.


One of the best ways to cool down a dog is to find a shady spot. That can be under a tree, in your house, under a chair, or under an umbrella. Don’t forget to have cool water nearby. 

Learn how creating shade in your yard benefits your dog and wallet in this article.

Exercise In The Early Morning Hours

By exercising in the early hours of the day you and your dog will escape the majority of the summer heat. 

In this post, I talk about fun exercises for you and your dog. 

4. Warnings for dogs in the summer


Never, ever leave your dog in a closed hot car. If you see a dog in a locked, hot car unattended, please call 911. 

Worried about what to do if your car breaks down and your dog is with you? This article reveals all the tricks you need


You may be surprised at how quickly a heatstroke can happen with a dog. Some signs are excessive panting, thick saliva, staggering, and muscle tremors. 


Some signs of dehydration may be difficult to see. A few signs to look for are sunken eyes and lethargy. Also, keep your eyes open for when you pinch the skin on the back of your dog’s neck it is slow to return. This is a sure sign of dehydration.

Learn how giving your dog the proper amount of clean water saves you money in this article.


Your dog’s ability to cool himself will be determined by the humidity. Keep your eyes on the humidity levels. 

Water Intoxication

This type of water issue will usually happen when playing or swimming and too much water is swallowed. A dog can die from water intoxication. 

Toxic or Contaminated Water 

Some dogs will swim in algae, especially blue-green algae, infested water and become very sick or die shortly after drinking the water. Pay attention to where your dog swims or plays. 

Do you know toxic water may not even look dirty? In this article, I tell you everything you need to know.


While most dogs are natural swimmers, not all dogs can swim and not all dogs are strong swimmers. Don’t assume that your dog can swim. Make sure your dog can swim. If you are on a boat, invest in a dog-sized life vest. 

Learn how to keep your dog safe around water in this article.

Fleas and Ticks

Always do a thorough check of your dog when you’ve been out hiking or outdoors. Carefully remove ticks if necessary.  If fleas are detected, bathe your dog with flea shampoo, comb his fur with a flea comb, and do regular inspections.

Are you worried about the cost of your dog’s med? In this article, I show you how to get vet-approved meds for cheap.

summer dog


Many dogs are curious about the sound of rattlesnakes. One strike can be deadly. There are rattlesnake aversion classes. Also, there is a rattlesnake vaccine available in many areas. Discuss your best options with your veterinarian. 

If you’re still looking for a great veterinarian, this is a step-by-step guide to finding a dog-approved fabulous vet. 

Bugs and Vermin

There are many summer bugs, which are more active in the summer and are very dangerous for dogs and humans, such as scorpions, black widows, brown recluses, and fire ants. Additionally, be careful if your dog should find a dead mouse or little critter. They will generally want to eat it.

However, if the rodent is dead, it may have been poisoned. Watch your dog. If he has a sudden lack of appetite, extreme salivation, heavy breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased urination, acting abnormally or you suspect a poison issue, do not try to induce vomiting at home.

But you will need to rush your dog to your veterinarian or call a pet poisoning hotline such as Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661, or ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435. However, keep in mind that these hotlines may charge for their services. 

Weeds and Toxic Plants

While some plants and bushes are toxic if eaten, others are just an irritant if peed on, such as rose bushes. Goat head weeds are a sort of locking weed that you need to examine your dog’s paws, legs, and underbelly for when he comes in from outside. If he ingests a goat head it can get lodged in his throat requiring a veterinarian visit. This is another good reason for booties.

Discover the best perennial flowers to plant in your dog-friendly yard in this article.


Be careful of weed, bug, and rodent killers. You don’t want your dog to walk on or eat any of these. Yet, another tick for booties and careful watching of your dog. 

Fireworks and Thunder

These are loud noises that will scare even some of the calmest dogs. Try to keep your dog calm. Put on other noises such as a radio to distract, place your dog in a smaller area for him to burrow down into, and make sure to provide lots of water. Some people have luck with CBD and other alternative products like Thundershirts or calming beds.

Although, if your dog is beyond these tactics you may need to consult your veterinarian for help and a prescription to help calm your dog on these extreme days. 

Need help with keeping your dog calm? Learn how a heartbeat toy did the trick for Henry in this article.

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Summary of fun ways to cool down your dog in summer

Summer can be a fun time. But we always need to take precautions to make sure our dogs and pets are safe as the temperature rises. I know it can be stressful. But in reality with just a few steps your dog can stay cool and you can rest easy. For me, my dog, Henry does well with a cooling vest. I was actually surprised at how much it helped him. However, when he needs more cooling then I’ll help him by splashing him down with cool water. Actually, I don’t mind the cool water on a hot day either.

Here at Tail Wag Wisdom, we wish you all a happy, healthy, safe, and cool tail-wagging summer fun time.

easy ways to cool down your dog even on a budget

How do you cool down your dog during the summer? Share your tips in the comments.

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

3 thoughts on “Pawsome Ways to Cool Down Your Dog This Sizzling Summer”

  1. Great tips, I wish more people understood summer time dog care. It’s so hot here, I’m constantly amazed by the number of people I see walking their dogs in the middle of the day, not a bottle of water in sight. My dog Jack used to wear a cooling bandana and it worked well. My neighbour’s dog did so much better once she got a cooling vest.

    • Oh my, I get so upset when I see dogs being walked in the heat. I want to wrap them in a heavy winter coat and leave them in the sun for an hour. Obviously, we are aligned on this issue. I know Henry does lots better with a cooling vest. I wish I had one. Truly a great idea! I’m not sure who created it, but I hope they know how much us loving pet parents appreciate it.

  2. Here in New Zealand we have toxic algae and every year people take risks with their dog’s health AGH! You have so many good tips here! My favourite is the sprinkler (kids, digs sprinklers what’s not to love!)

    This is a fantastic post.


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