With the latest heatwave on the West coast, it is a good time to brush up on ways to keep dogs cool during hot summer days.

Everyone knows that hot weather can be dangerous, especially the young and the elderly, but some don’t realize that it can also be dangerous for pets. This is especially true for dogs since they are more likely to spend a good portion of their day outside the air-conditioned comfort of a home. Since excessive heat can be fatal to dogs, it is important to know what to do to help your dog keep cool during excessively hot weather.

If possible, keep your dog in an air-conditioned are of the house, even if she has to be kept in a crate. It is better to be cool and in a crate than to be exposed to life-threatening heat. Often this is not an option, so try some of the following on hot summer days.

  • If you have a dog with a long coat that can be trimmed or shaved, doing so during the hot summer months will help keep your pooch a few degrees cooler.
  • Always keep a few bowls of cool fresh water in different areas of your outdoor space. Dogs love to play and run around—even in the heat—and they are likely to overturn their water bowl during play. Having multiple bowls of water will help reduce the chance that they will be left without water due to their rambunctious nature.
  • Even though dogs enjoy lying in the sun, they do need a shady spot to cool off when it gets too hot, so make sure that their outdoor area has at least one shady spot throughout the day.
  • If your dog is crated in an area that is not air-conditioned, having a fan circulating air will provide some cooling for your dog.
  • Get an inexpensive children’s splash pool, and fill it with water, according to your dog’s size, and let her splash around and cool down. You can even add some ice cubes to make the water a few degrees cooler, and provide a fun, though short-lived, chew toy.
  • Preparing some frozen treats such as frozen fruit bits can also be a tasty way to help your dog to cool down and enjoy a tasty snack.
  • If you can spend some time with your dog, the simplest, but possibly the most fun, way to help your dog cool down is to grab the water hose and spray around some water so that your dog and play in the water, and even keep hydrated as she plays.

Do you have any tips that we can add to this list? Let us know!