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7 Tips to Keep Your Pup Cool in the Summer

Before we get started let's get the the stuff we have to say out of the way! Here at Hud's we believe our pups are family, and should be treated as such! We never recommend or suggest any product that we wouldn't or don't use ourselves. We are not paid to promote any item. However, as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

Australian Shepherds at the beach

One question we get asked rather frequently is, "How do I keep my dog cool in the summer?" With the extreme heat most of the US has been experiencing we figured now would be a great time to answer that question!

The most important thing in regards to keeping your dog cool in extreme heat is planning ahead. We always joke that here in the Sooner State we can have all four seasons in a single day, so we've grown accustomed to crazy fluctuation of temperatures, but we know that’s not the case for many.

Today we're going to give you 7 tips to keep dogs cool in the summer, no matter how hot it gets. The best part? You These hacks will help keep dogs cool of any age, breed, or size! Plus, you'll learn tips to help you spot signs of heatstroke and dehydration which can help save your dog's life. Let's get straight to it!

Here are the 7 tips to keep dogs cool outside even in the hottest of weather:

1. Stay Hydrated

Water accounts for 60% of a dogs body.

Water accounts for 60% of a dog’s body. A general rule of thumb is dogs should drink anywhere between 1/2 to 1 oz of fresh water per pound of body weight.

Factors that will change how much water your dog will need to drink every day:

  • Size - be sure to use the calculator above.

  • Food - for dogs who eat dry food like kibble, they'll often need more water. If you're feeding dehydrated food, raw, or canned then your pup will naturally get more water from their food.

  • Exercise - the more your pup exercises, the more they'll need water.

  • Weather - the hotter (and even extreme cold) days will require more water for your four-legged friend.

  • Medications - specific medications can change how much water your pup needs. Be sure to check with your vet.

  • Age - puppies need to have their water intake more closely monitored (especially when potty training), whereas adult dogs mostly self-regulate their water intake.

Australian Shepherd sipping a margarita

Remember, dogs are sloppy drinkers. So if you measure out this amount per day, you may need to add more to account for all the water that ends up on the ground.

Also, if you are playing with your dog at the beach, a pool, a lake, a stream or whatever, make sure you bring fresh water. Saltwater can dehydrate pups and other bodies of water can have bugs and problematic (often invisible) parasites lurking. So be sure to plan ahead and bring fido some fresh water.


To help your dog avoid getting water bloat, use ice cubes with just a little water right after exercise. That way, they'll start slow. Then you can slowly add the water as needed.


A great idea for having water for your pup at home is to use a refillable water dispenser. That way you know your pups are always getting enough water. For puppies, it's often best to not "free feed" water as they aren't great at regulating their water intake. Plus it'll make potty training a nightmare. No matter what water bowl you use, wash it at least every other day to keep it free from bacteria. This is what we recommend!


In recent years, portable and travel dog water bowls have increased in popularity, and we’re so glad they have! We all have our water bottles, or reusable cups we take with us everywhere, so it’s just as well our pups hae one too! Here’s our favorite!

2. Take Frequent Breaks

Our canine friends can't tell us when they need a break. At least not with words. (We'll cover this later) So it's on us as humans to take breaks more frequently than what your dog would on their own. It's vital to have breaks throughout play to keep dogs cool in the summer!

How often you should take breaks will depend on the level of energy your pup is using. For walks and general play, you should take a break every 15-20 minutes (depending on the temperature) For activities like fetch, tug, hiking, or running we recommend taking a break every 10 minutes or so.


There are a few things to do every time you take a break with your dog.

  • Provide Water - like we talked about in the first section, your dog needs plenty of water.

  • Find Some Shade - whether that's inside a building, under a tree, or under an umbrella, give your pup a break from the sun.

  • Snack Time - a great way to make breaks enjoyable for your pup (because they'll probably be begging to keep going) is to give some healthy treats or frozen snacks.

  • Check your Pup - give your dog a quick check on their paws, fur, and all over. Make sure nothing is stuck in their paw pads or otherwise bothering your pup.

  • Take a Pupper Selfie - because, why not? And then tag #HUDSBREAK to be featured on our Instagram.

Taking sufficient breaks with your pup will ensure they don't get heat exhaustion or any other heat-related health issues.


Remember when we said dogs can't tell us when they need a break? Well…they can, sort of. Just not with words! Here are a few ways your pup might be telling you they need a break and some time to cool down:

  • Excessive panting

  • Any whimpering/whining

  • Going slower than their normal pace

  • Laying down more often than usual

If you notice any of these signs, take a break!! Taking frequent breaks is one of the best ways to keep your dog cool during the summer.

3. Use an Elevated or Cooling Bed

Let's face it, many times dogs are stuck laying on the floor, carpet, grass, or other not-so-comfortable surfaces. Most of the time they don't mind (we truly don't deserve dogs). But, when it's hot you'll want to give your pup a special bed to help them stay cool. If your dog spends time alone outside, you'll want to get them an elevated bed. Just like how laying in a hammock is cooler than a sleeping bag. The same goes for your pup.

Elevated beds get your dog off of the hot ground surface and experience a nice breeze beneath their dog bum. To take it one step further, you can try out a cooling bed. Cooling beds are either made from special material or are filled with water. These beds are made specifically for helping to keep your dog cool on hot days. In addition to specific beds, you can get cooling pads. Cooling pads can be the perfect addition to another bed, crate, or just on their own. Picking the right elevated or cooling bed can help your pup stay cool outside on even the hottest of days.

4. Give Frozen Treats or Toys

There's a reason popsicles are such a hit in the summer. Because they help cool you down! Of course, they taste great as well. But how often do you see someone with a popsicle in January? Although you shouldn't give your dog normal popsicles (especially not the stick), you can give them some tasty frozen treats that are pup-approved.


Here's some popular frozen dog treats your pup is sure to love (and beg for)!

  • Pupsicles

  • Frozen Fruits and Veggies

  • Frozen Kong

Although you can't give your pupper a normal popsicle, you can make him special dog popsicles, or should we say pupsicles. We believe recipes should be simple ingredients, healthy, and easy to make!


Freezing fruits and veggies is one of the cheapest and healthiest frozen treat options for your dog.

Some of our dog's favorite frozen fruits and veggies are:

  • Apples

  • Watermelon (Always a crowd pleaser!)

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Carrots

  • Broccoli

  • Cucumber

  • Sweet Potato

We love this tip because it’s so easy, and can be done in a really short amount of time! Just chop up those fruits and vegetables and throw them in the freezer (make sure they’re separated on a cookie sheet or in a tupperware or they’ll be frozen together.) Then all you have to do is wait! It really is that easy!

5. Provide Shade Outside

Australian Shepherd wearing Red Sunglasses

Here in Oklahoma, the summers can be SCORCHERS! So we know firsthand how much a nice shade tree, or covered patio is appreciated! Although the temperature in the shade is the same as it is not in the shade (fun fact for the day), the lack of direct UV exposure makes all the difference. Just like humans, pups can experience sunburn and increased feelings of overheating when in direct sunlight.

Making sure your pup has adequate shade in your yard, on hikes, or while walking will drastically help them stay cool.

For your yard here are some cooling shade ideas for your dog:

  • Patio Umbrella

  • Canopy Cover

  • Trees (thanks, nature)

  • Dog Door (inside is the ultimate shade)

If you're going out on a hike you can typically find good tree cover for your pup to rest in. However, if you know there will be few or no trees, consider bringing an umbrella to help add some quick shade to your rest areas. Providing your dog with enough shade will help them regulate their temperature and avoid any potential heat stroke or dehydration.

6. Go Swimming (or anything water related!)

When your pup is baking like a potato that fixing to be served with a steak, you've just gotta find a body of water to swim in! Whether it's a lake, river, stream, neighbor's pool, local dog pool (yes, those exist), or even just a kiddie pool in your backyard, swimming is one of the best ways for your pup to stay cool.

This one doesn't take much explanation. Swimming cools you down. Of course, many pups don't love the water... so, you may be out of luck. But even if they aren't a huge fan of swimming, giving them the option on a hot day may change their mind. We’ve found that some pups hate swimming around in a pool for instance, but actually love being in a shallow kiddie pool where just their feet are submerged! So it may take some trial and error to figure out what suits your dog the best!

Does your dog like to swim?

  • 0%YES! I can't hardly get them our of the water!

  • 0%Eh? They could take it or leave it!

  • 0%No way! They'll walk a huge circle around any body of water!

7. Exercise at Cooler Times

The beauty (well, one of the many beauties) of being a human is we have opposable thumbs. That means we can pull up the weather on our phone, tablet, TV, or computer. You can even see an hour-by-hour breakdown of the temperature forecast. You did know that already, right? With that being said, you should plan your pup's main exercise times for the least warm parts of the day to keep your dog cool. In most cases, that'll be in the mornings and evenings. By limiting your dog's exercise to the cooler parts of the day, you'll help them avoid overheating and potential dehydration.

Well folks, that wraps up our list of 7 Ways to Keep your Dog Cool in the Summer! If you follow all these tips, you'll be able to keep your dog cool even on the hottest of those scorching summer days! Keeping your dog cool is important for their health and happiness.

Till next time,

Your Friends at Hud's Aussies

Did we miss anything in this article? Do you have other tips?

Comment below and tell us how you keep your dog cool in the summer!

Don't forget to check out The Auss-Some Shop!

The Auss-Some Shop at Hud's Aussies

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