It's hard to find a human or canine who doesn't love summer. There's more time in the day, more opportunities to go outside and more overall happiness. But to have the most fun in the sun, we need to be safe. Fortunately, there are lots of goodies you can buy to achieve that for your pup. Here are 12 summer essentials, accessories and hot weather gear for a happy dog summer.
1. Portable Dog Bowl
Making sure your dog has access to water is extremely important in hot-weather to prevent dehydration and overheating. But when the weather is nice, we're often on-the-go when the weather. Fortunately, there are portable dog bowls that make it easy to keep your pup hydrated. Just make sure to bring along clean water.
2. Paw Boots
When it's hot out, the ground can cause harm to your pet's paws (especially pavement, asphalt, concrete and even sand). But your dog can still walk around outside with paw boots. They protect paws from the hot surfaces on the ground, while still being flexible enough for full range of motion. If your dog isn't a fan of booties, there are sock slip-on and rubber glove versions.
Pro Tip: Buy some healing balms for dogs to further protect and help your dog's paws (and nose!). Many of these will prevent and treat chapping, cracking and bleeding with a nourishing protective barrier and healing properties.
3. Dog Sunscreen
Yes, there is such a thing as dog sunscreen and no, it's not just human sunscreen on your dog. Dog-formulated sunscreens provide fast, convenient protection from harmful UV rays, which can cause sunburn and even skin cancer. It's really important that you only use a sunscreen specifically made for dogs. This is because human sunscreens contain toxic ingredients and dogs often lick the sunscreen, so they would ingest those toxins.
It's recommended you use sunscreen on breeds with short or light-colored fur as they have a higher risk of sunburn. In addition, hairless breeds require the use of sunscreen for dogs. Make sure to put the sunscreen on more exposed body parts like the nose, ears, abdomen, groin and any areas where you can see skin.
Pro Tip: Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray is the only FDA-compliant pet sunscreen. It protects from UVA/UVB Rays with an SPF equivalent to 30+ and is quick to dry, water and sweat resistant, non-greasy and pleasantly fragranced.
4. UV-Protective Clothing
You can also help your dog fight the harsh sunlight with UV-protective clothing, like shirts. They are made from durable fabrics that protect against UVA and UVB rays, but are often light-weight and quick-drying. UV-protective clothing have SPF equivalents as high as 40+ and reduce the need for sunscreen.
5. Cooling Mats
Cooling mats are portable pads that help combat rising temperatures by cooling down cool down your dog when they lie on it. Most are pressure-activated, meaning they do not require refrigeration or electricity to work. They are durable, come in many sizes and can provide up to three hours of cooling.
6. Cooling Clothing
You can also buy cooling clothing, such as vests and bandanas. They cool down your dog and prevent overheating by lowering body heat and maintaining ideal body temperature. They do require water to use but that's all. Just soak in cold water, lightly wring it out and put it on your pup. You can even use some clothing for up to 10 hours.
7. Portable Pet Tent
One way to protect your dog from the sun and overheating is by hanging out in the shade. No shade? No problem. There are portable pet tents that allow you to create a shady spot for your pup anytime, anywhere. Not only do these durable pet tents provide necessary shade, they also protect your dog from the hot ground. Furthermore, they are easy to set up and break down, making them convenient to take around with you.
8. Doggy Pool
Our children can cool down from the hot weather in kiddie pools, so why can't our canines do so in doggy pools? They can! Water is an extremely effective way to keep your dog's body temperature down. A portable doggy is especially useful for dogs who can't swim. Plus, they are easy to store when temperatures begin to drop. Just make sure the water isn't too cold, as it's vitally important to slowly cool down a dog.
Pro Tip: Doggy pools can also be used for giving our dog a bath outside.
9. Life Vest
Speaking of swimming, investing in a life vest or lifejacket is a good idea if your dog enjoys the big kid pool, lake or ocean. But they are a must for dogs who like going in water but can't swim. They are also useful in combatting fatigue in dogs that can swim, especially in large bodies of water with strong currents (like the ocean). Just make sure to get one that does not restrict your dog's movement.
Pro Tip: It is recommended that you use a dog lifejacket or vest around water, even if your dog isn't going to be swimming.
10. Pool Toys
If you're planning to enjoy some fun in the water with your dog, try bringing along some toys. There are all kinds of water-safe toys to choose from, so no matter how your dog likes to play, there's a toy for him or her - from frisbees and balls for dogs who like fetch, to floating ropes for those who like tug-of-war, to squeaky toys for chewers. There are even water-resistant fabric and plush toys.
11. Pet Mosquito Repellent
12. Hands-Free Walking Bag
Nicer weather means more time outside, more walks, more hikes, more runs, and beyond. But the hot temperatures mean we want to limit the layers we wear and accessories we carry. That's where a hands-free walking belt bag comes in handy. Just strap it around your waist and store poop bags, training treats, your cell phone, keys and beyond. No need for vests or jackets.