7 Summer Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy & Healthy

  • 4 Min Read

Looking forward to fun in the sun with your puppy pal? Not sure what to do this summer when faced with heat wave warnings and a thick-furred friend? As a dog or cat owner, it’s easy to worry when it starts to get extremely hot, but you don’t have to end your summer plans. With a few simple safety tips, you and your pet can enjoy all that the summer has to offer!

Astro Loyalty has compiled a list of tips to keep your summer activities safe and fun for both you and your dog. Check out our summer safety tips below!

Outdoor Time

Risk of Overheating

One major consideration for safely enjoying the summer with your dog is the risk of overheating. Keeping an eye out for the warning signs like heavy panting, confusion, and lethargy will ensure that you take action if your pet starts to get too hot. The treatment for most overheating is taking your dog inside and providing them with plenty of water. If the indoors aren’t an option, water, and shade will help lessen the sun’s effect.

To prevent overheating, never leave your dog in a hot car, even if the windows are open or the air conditioning is running. Heat can build up quickly in a parked car, even with minor airflow. You’ll also want to avoid taking your dog out during the hottest parts of the day—which is the middle of the day or afternoon in most cases.

You’ll also want to avoid potentially hot asphalt surfaces since dogs’ paws are far more sensitive than human shoes. Keeping to the grass will keep them comfortable and content.

Dealing with Ticks

Tackling fleas, ticks, and other bug problems is never fun, but luckily there are preventative measures you can take to avoid this summer problem as well. Using a pet-safe tick repellent comes in handy, but the best method is preventative behavior. Don’t let your dog wander in thick patches of low-lying plants to keep your dog tick-free.

To check your dog for ticks, look in places with thick fur and exposed skin: around the ears, under the collar, and between the legs are three major locations. If you think your dog has symptoms like lethargy and fever, contact your vet.

Interacting with Crowds

Summer is the time for people getting together, whether it’s a city-wide 5k or a large picnic. Dogs are popular guests at events like this, but you’ll want to make sure your furry friend is ready before you try to introduce him to such a stimulating environment.

If you’re going to take your dog to a public event like a marathon, farmer’s market, or “Take Your Dog to Work” day, you’ll first want to check to see if dogs are allowed. They are usually allowed on a leash, so be sure to follow all posted rules to keep yourself and your dog safe. If your dog has never been in a large crowd before, you’ll want to work up to it. Make sure your pup is comfortable around your group of friends, or your volleyball team before you try to take him to a crowded block party.

You’ll also want to make sure that your dog is comfortable with other dogs. If you want to bring your dog to a large outdoor event, it’s a guarantee that other pet owners will as well. Practicing making friends at the dog park and walking past the neighbor’s dogs will help your dog get used to the idea of interacting with other dogs peacefully.

Going Swimming

One of the best summer activities is going for a swim! If your dog loves the water, you may want to give him the chance to get wet. Seeking out creeks and lakes with walking paths can give you a chance to let your pup cool their body temperature on hot days. You’ll want to make sure that there isn’t any posted signage against letting pets in the water and set out a towel or two to dry off when you get home.

Of course, if your pup has never swum before, it’ll need close supervision the first few times you try it. Some dogs are more natural swimmers than others, so you’ll want to be prepared to get in and help if your dog starts to struggle. Getting a dog life jacket for these first few times is an important safety step to help them acclimate, and if you plan on taking your dog out into large bodies of water, like on a boat, it’s highly recommended.

Consistent Hydration

No matter what, consistent hydration is key. Generally, your dog should drink 1 oz of cool water per every pound of body weight, but that number increases when the temperature goes up. Having plenty of fresh water readily available to your dog will allow them to help manage their heat by staying hydrated. If your dog doesn’t seem motivated to drink enough, giving them ice cubes can be a fun change of pace.

Nutrition Tip: Adding frozen raw foods and mix-ins, like bone broth or goat milk, to your dog’s meal is a great way to introduce extra moisture along with additional nutritional value. (Plus, it’s super yummmm!)

Indoor Time

Indoor Activities

You and your dog can still have plenty of summer fun indoors! If the heat isn’t appealing to you or your pup, you can still stay inside for quality time. If your dog is feeling playful, but you don’t have to go outside to run around. Playing with toys in an open space can let you exercise your dog’s mind while keeping them cool. Access to fresh water is also a critical part of a safe indoor summer location–they’ll still need to rehydrate after playtime!

Indoor time can also be a good time to work on or reinforce trained behavior. “Sit,” “stay,” “lay down,” and “shake” are all skills that can be taught anywhere. All you need is patience, treats, and plenty of belly rubs.

Summer Shedding

You may be faced with the dreaded summer shedding, but it doesn’t have to leave you covered in fur for weeks. With proper coat care and brushing, you can keep the loose fur manageable and off of your furniture. Simple steps like getting the proper brush for your dog’s coat type, setting a regular brushing schedule, and arranging a regular bathtime will all help keep your dog’s coat healthy and your house fur-free.

Enjoy Your Summer with Your Dog!

Hot weather is the perfect time to cool down with fresh water, shade, and even a splash in a pond. Whether you are inside or out, as long as you keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, you’ll be able to enjoy your time together all summer long! 

For more advice about pet care and summer fun, check out Astro Loyalty’s Blog!

About The Author

Katherine Carbonaro Kat lives in a spooky house surrounded by farmland in Hillsborough, NC, and couldn't be happier! Her two beloved cats, MeNow and Mr. Bumbles were both bottle-fed and raised by her. Huxley, her faithful companion, is estimated to be around 16 years old but still enjoys his daily mile-long walks and occasional hikes, a testament to the power of proper nutrition. Long live Neighborhood Pet!