dog

Keep Pooches Safe In The Summer Heat With These 10 Easy Tips

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

Summer’s almost here, and we humans aren’t the only ones looking forward to fun in the sun. After a winter of being cooped up inside and getting their paws cold, dogs are looking forward to some summer fun, too!

After all, it’s the time of year to run around, explore all the fascinating new smells, and maybe even make some new friends at the park.

But it’s also the time of year when temperatures soar and the sun beats down, and that means that certain precautions must be taken — and that means for both the humans and the dogs in your life.

That’s because just like humans, dogs have special needs that have to be met at certain times of the year, whether it be during the summer or around the winter holidays.

And because all dogs are different, some of them will need extra care and consideration while other summer care, like access to shade and water, is universal.

Read on to learn how to help your pooch make the most of this summer in a safe and healthy way no matter their age or size!

Cover photo via Flickr / Tambako the Jaguar

If Your Dog Has Short Or Thin Fur...

If Your Dog Has Short Or Thin Fur...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Dogs with very thin or short hair, including dogs who get close haircuts in summer, need to be careful in the sun. No one likes a sunburn!

Make sure your exposed dog stays in shady spots, and if you have to be in the sun, invest in some doggy sunblock!

If Your Dog Is Shaped Like A Barrel...

If Your Dog Is Shaped Like A Barrel...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Dogs with sturdy, stocky bodies like bulldogs and pugs need to be extra careful around the water.

Because they’re not very aerodynamic, dogs like this can have trouble staying afloat.

If you’re planning on being near the water and have a barrel-shaped pal who likes to swim, get them a life jacket to help them stay above water!

If Your Dog Has Blue Or Light Eyes...

If Your Dog Has Blue Or Light Eyes...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Australian shepherds and huskies are known for their striking blue eyes, but a light-pigmented eye can mean trouble and discomfort in the bright sun.

Make sure they have a shady place to rest their eyes if needed.

They even make sunglasses for dogs if they’re in real discomfort.

If Your Dog Is Small...

If Your Dog Is Small...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Like barrel-shaped dogs, small dogs may like to swim, but they face unique risks in the water. Small dogs can get easily tired in deep, open water.

If they like to join you in the pool, make sure they have a place to grab a rest. A pool float can be just the thing.

If Your Dog Has A Squishy Face...

If Your Dog Has A Squishy Face...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Dogs with mushy faces like pugs can have more trouble breathing than dogs with longer snouts.

If your favorite mush-face likes to run around, make sure they can adequately catch their breath, and don’t overdo it on long or strenuous walks.

If Your Dog Comes From A Cold Climate...

If Your Dog Comes From A Cold Climate...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Dogs with thick, long fur often find the summers uncomfortable.

Sheepdogs, malamutes, and huskies often find the heat seriously oppressive, so make sure they have a cool place to rest.

Keeping them inside during the hottest part of the day is also a good idea.

If Your Dog Has Black Or Dark Fur...

If Your Dog Has Black Or Dark Fur...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The same goes for black and dark-colored dogs.

Dark colors soak up the heat from the sun, and so walking a dog like a black lab in the middle of the day will make them even hotter.

Take these dogs out in the morning and evening when the sun is gentler.

If Your Dog Lives In The City...

If Your Dog Lives In The City...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Living in an urban area, or anywhere with a lot of pavement, means hot asphalt baking in the sun all day.

That means that your dog’s sensitive paw pads will be touching a very hot surface. Ouch!

Where possible, let your dog walk on the cooler grass. There are even special summertime shoes to protect dogs’ feet from the hot pavement. This is especially important for puppies.

If Your Dog Is Active...

If Your Dog Is Active...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

There are plenty of dogs who love the summer, and love to run, jump and play in the sunshine.

But just like humans, exerting energy in the heat leads to dehydration.

If you notice your dog is panting extra hard after playing or seems out of sorts, make sure they have plenty of cool (not cold) water to drink, and let them rest when they’re tired.

If Your Dog Is Very Old Or Very Young...

If Your Dog Is Very Old Or Very Young...
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Also just like humans, the heat is the hardest on the very old and the very young.

Make sure these delicate dogs stay out of intense heat and always have lots of water to drink.

And we don’t have to tell you to NEVER keep any dog in the car in the sun. Ever!

Be sure to SHARE these important tips with all the dog parents you know to make sure everyone, on two legs or four, has a happy and healthy summer!