Summertime Fun for Small Dogs by Emily Jackson |Updated 04-11-2023
Furry friends can have a difficult time in the summer. When the temperatures start to rise, try these ways to keep your dog happy, safe, and cool.
Here are five tips that will help your little dog say happy all summer long.
Neither you nor your dog wants to be subjected to the summer heat. Extremely hot days can turn fun daily walks into exhausting chores. If temperatures get too high, the hot pavement could actually burn your dog's paws.
Even if it's scorching outside, your dog probably doesn't want to skip their daily walk. Instead, move the walk to a cooler and more convenient time of day.
Early mornings are usually the coolest part of a summer day. Temperatures rise with the sun, so take your walk before the sun has had a chance to heat up the pavement. You'll also catch a few beautiful sunrises, and your dog will enjoy the scent of morning dew.
If you aren't an early riser, try an evening walk. Wait until the sun has started to set, and check the pavement to make sure it's cool enough to walk on. The sun sets quite late in the summer; your best bet is a slow stroll after dinner.
Dehydration is the natural enemy of summer fun. As the daily temperatures rise, make sure that your dog has plenty of fresh, cool water available to drink.
At home, make sure that your dog's water bowl stays full throughout the day. Dogs who spend extra time in the yard should have access to water both inside and outside. Remember to clean the bowls and fill them with fresh water; stale water doesn't taste good, and the bacteria could make your dog sick.
If your dog is drinking water all day, they will need to go out slightly more often. Pet owners who live in apartments should plan for an extra daily bathroom trip to keep everyone comfortable.
Don't leave your dog outside in the summer heat. Pets can suffer from heatstroke, and their fur coat makes it difficult to cool off. Heavy panting, lazy behavior, glazed eyes, and extreme thirst are all signs that your dog is overheating.
Keep your dogs inside during the daytime. If they want to go in the back yard, let them play for around 25-30 minutes before bringing them back inside. You can let them back out when the temperatures start to drop in the evening.
The inside of your house should be kept cool and air-conditioned. Fans are helpful, but they don't have the same cooling effects on dogs as they do on humans. Dark and shady rooms are easy to keep cool and will give your dog a place where they can retreat.
Pets don't do well in humid environments. Moisture in the air makes panting significantly less effective. Consider investing in a dehumidifier if you experience particularly wet summers, and be extra careful with exercise on humid days.
If your dog has to stay outside, make sure they have access to shade and protection from the sun. Find a well-ventilated doghouse, or invest in a pet canopy. Don't forget to provide extra water; it's the easiest way to help your dog stay cool. You should also bring them inside for occasional breaks from the heat.
Finally, always remember that dogs can never be left in a hot car. In less than 10 minutes, temperatures can get high enough to cause organ damage or permanent failure. Take your pets into the store with you, or leave them at home while you run errands.
Most dogs love to splash and swim. It's actually safe for a dog to swim in a chlorine pool, but that doesn't mean you can take them to your local rec center.
Instead, set up a puppy pool party in your backyard. Look for a shallow kiddie pool or a dog-specific pool that is the right size for your pup. Your pets should be able to stand in the pool with their heads above the water, and they should be able to easily get out of the pool on their own.
Some dogs might need time to get used to the water, but once they do, they'll usually fall in love with swimming. Throw in a few water-safe toys and watch them jump, splash, and play all summer long.
Everyone loves a popsicle in the middle of summer. You can make your own frozen dog treats to help your pets cool off and enjoy the season.
Most natural ingredients are safe for dogs to consume. Peppers, onions, and nuts are toxic, but these ingredients don't usually go in popsicles.
Be careful with dairy products, as many dogs are lactose intolerant. Coconut milk is always a big hit with canines.
Dogs don't need nearly as much sugar as humans do. Use natural sweeteners in very small amounts, or skip the sweeteners entirely.
Feed your dog amounts appropriate to their size. Talk to your vet for diet recommendations specific to your pet.
A simple and healthy popsicle recipe is yogurt and your dog's favorite fruit. Blend the two ingredients together into a smooth paste; you might also leave fruit chunks for your pup to enjoy. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold or ice cube tray, and serve treats one at a time.
Try inventing your own popsicle recipe with these safe ingredients:
· Watermelon (remove seeds)
· Coconut milk
· Soy milk (never almond milk)
· Peanut butter
Remember to taste test every popsicle recipe; if you don't like the taste, your dog might not like it either. Most dogs will be quite happy to help you perfect a batch of frozen treats.
Your pup deserves to enjoy their summer vacation. Make slight changes to your daily schedule to avoid extreme heat, and provide plenty of water throughout the season. Don't forget to plan a few fun summer activities; every dog wants to go outside and enjoy a beautiful sunny day.
Emily is an animal lover and has a passion for writing about pet care & health. Through her writing she is spreading awareness on how people can live better happier lives with their pets. Till now she has adopted 3 stray cats & always encourages people to adopt animals from shelter homes.