It's Hot Out There! 7 Ways to Keep Pets Cool This Summer

Keep your furry BFFs sun-safe with these tips and cool-down tricks.

Related To:

It's not even officially summer yet and temperatures have almost hit 100 here in Tennessee. Hopefully, you're all taking measures to stay cool, hydrated and UV protected, but what about your pets? We all love getting our furry BFFs out in the fresh air during the summer, but there are lots of ways to make sure they're enjoying the sunshine in a safe way.



Dog Pug lying on a Lounger in front of the Pool

Photo by: ©


Pet expert Nicole Ellis, from DogVacay, shares her top tips to keep pets of all sizes safe this season.

I Scream, You Bark

Dogs love cold treats — ice cream, watermelon (remove those seeds first!), frozen chicken stock cubes — you name it! Here are a few simple recipes for frosty treats you can try at home.

Seriously, Sunburns Stink

We all know the feeling of spending a nice day outside, then getting burned in the process. Lather sunscreen on your pet — they need protection, too! Look for sunscreens that are specifically designed for animals. (Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.)

Big Tip: Avoid zinc oxide, which is a common ingredient in sunscreen. It can be toxic to dogs if ingested.

This Works for Humans, Too!

Keep your pet cool in the summer by wetting down a bandana and placing it in the freezer to chill. Tie it around your pet's neck once frozen.

Take Cool, Evening Walks

Take your pets on walks during the early or late hours of the day when the heat isn't at its highest, when the air will be easier to breathe and the ground cooler to walk on. When possible, walk on dirt or grass patches instead of dark concrete, which can heat up to high temperatures quickly.

Keep Their Skin Covered

Trimming and brushing your pet's hair could help keep them cooler, and help remove loose fur which makes the heat worse. However, make sure to do your research before trimming hair too short. While shaving your pet's fur may seem like a good idea, the layers of your pet's fur actually help protect their skin from UV rays.

Take It Easy

When playing outdoors, be sure to have plenty of water, stop for water breaks and pick out a shady section for your pet. Limit exercise on hot days compared to your normal outdoor routines.

Play Near the Water

Enjoy time together near pet-friendly water locations like a kiddie pool, a large sprinkler in the yard or your local dog beach. (Playing frisbee by the water is a great summer activity!) Remember, it's supposed to be fun so don't force your dog in the water if they're scared or nervous.

Tip: Wetting your dog down before a walk can help them stay cooler during their walk, too.

70 Pictures of Adorable Pets

See All Photos

Shop Related Products

Keep Reading

Next Up

Pet-Prep Tips You Need to Know For Summer

These tips will earn you a tail wag or two.

Dog Days of Summer: Cool Off Your Pup With Frozen Treats

Pretty much everyone loves PB&J -- even Fido. Here's how to turn the schoolyard sandwich into a frozen summer treat.

6 Yummy Ways to Cool Off RN

Hint: They might involve frozen berries and booze.

One More Desktop Download for Summer

Autumn may be inching closer, but I'm still in sunny summer mode and so is my iPhone. 

22 Signs You're Ready for Summer. Now.

You're dreaming of sandcastles, ice-cream trucks and sandy beach chairs. You've got summer fever. And you've got it bad.

7 Alternatives to Your Favorite Summer Flowers

April showers bring May flowers, but which ones should you take home from the florist?

10 Ways to Summer-ify Your Home

It's time to swap out the bed linens.

9 Road Trip Packing Hacks That Will Make Traveling With Kids + Pets a Breeze

Snacks? Check! Games? Check! Charged electronics? Check! Trashed car? NOPE!

14 Homemade Ice Pops to Cool You Off This Summer

It’s hot out there! Beat the heat with a delicious, DIY frozen treat.

Hilary Duff's Top Stress-Free Summer Hosting Tips

Why stress when you could be drinking wine in the sunshine?

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts