Updated: Jun 7
As summer finally comes to fruition, our dogs are just as excited as we are—if not more excited!—to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. However, as we’ve learned over the last few years, summer months across Canada can vary from perfectly balmy to dangerously hot, and it’s up to us to manage our precious pup’s temperatures while still ensuring they’re squeezing out as much fun in the sun as they can. This week, let’s look at seven summer essentials for dogs that will keep them safe, cool, and happy!
Before you rummage through your closet full of doggy gear or start a new online shopping cart, let’s review some of the basics of managing and monitoring your dog’s temperature during the summer heat.
Dogs only have sweat glands on their paw pads, meaning they can’t cool down as efficiently as we do: instead, they mostly rely on panting to provide the same evaporation effects. Even dogs with thick fur use their coats to help keep them cool! Just like how a dog’s fur insulates them in the winter, it also moderates their temperature in the summer. This means that you should never shave your dog’s heavy coat because you think it’ll help them cool down—without their natural first defence from the elements, you’re more likely to give them heatstroke!
Speaking of Heatstroke…
When it comes to monitoring our dogs in the heat, the two issues we’re worried about most are heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Heat exhaustion is essentially the more mild form of the two, but if left untreated, it can rapidly become heatstroke, which can be fatal if not immediately addressed. If you see your dog panting incessantly in the sun this summer, it’s likely they’re too warm and “sweating” heavily. Get them to shade or an air-conditioned area quickly and let them relax with some cool water to be safe.
Check out our full blog article to get in-depth information about other symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and how to treat them—it’s better to know it and never need it than to be scrambling for what to do in a moment of panic.
8 Must-Have Summer Essentials for Dogs
1. Cooling Bandanas
Beat the summer heat with these cool and trendy bandanas that help your dog stay comfortable even on scorching days. Dog cooling bandanas and vests from Canadian companies like Canada pooch use special fabric to allow for all-over body evaporation. Just dip them in water and let the magic fabric do its work!
2. HydroSMART-Pro Pet Bowl
Stay hydrated on the go with this innovative pet bowl attachment from BRB Pet Bowl. It easily connects to your water bottle, ensuring your furry friend always has access to refreshing water wherever your summer adventures take you.
3. Dog-Safe Sunscreen
Protect your dog from harmful sunburns with a lick-safe sunscreen. Discover Parker & Co's all-natural snout screen, a mess-free and safe solution to shield your pup's sensitive areas from the sun. (And they're Canadian!)
4. Hot Pavement Paw Protector Booties
Don't let hot pavement ruin your pup's summer strolls. Invest in durable booties, like Muttluks' Mud Monsters, to keep their paws safe and comfortable during outdoor adventures.
5. Dog Paddling Pool
Create a splash-tacular summer for your pup with a backyard pool. Opt for a durable, hard-sided plastic kid's pool that can withstand your dog's playful antics and provide hours of aquatic fun.
6. Dog Tent
Give your dog a shady retreat with a pet tent. These portable and affordable shelters offer a cool and comfortable spot for your furry friend to relax and enjoy the outdoors, whether it's in your backyard or at the beach.
7. RDBK Raw Bones
Treat your dog to a refreshing and stimulating chew session with raw bones. Not only do they provide essential nutrients, but they also help cool down your pup while keeping them mentally engaged. Take a look at RDBK’s selection of high-quality, ethically-sourced bones—we have something for every type of dog!
8. In-Door Enrichment
When the summer sun gets too intense, keep your dog entertained and cool indoors. Try engaging indoor enrichment activities that stimulate their senses and provide mental engagement. Snuffle mats from PawzNDogz offer a fun hide-and-seek experience, allowing your dog to search for treats hidden within the fleece fabric. For a creative twist, use lick mats from Messy Mutts. Spread raw food or natural-based peanut butter on these mats, freeze them, and watch your dog spend quality time working for their tasty rewards. These enrichment options will keep your dog happily engaged, even when outdoor activities are limited.
Ready to Embrace the Dog Days of Summer?
Equip yourself with these summer essentials to ensure your four-legged companion stays cool and happy throughout the season. Share your favourite ways to pamper your pooch on Instagram or Facebook at @reddogbluekat—we can't wait to hear about your summer adventures with your furry best friend!