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23 Summer Essentials for Dogs to Keep Your Pup Safe & Happy

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on July 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog lying in the beach

23 Summer Essentials for Dogs to Keep Your Pup Safe & Happy

Summer is finally right around the corner, and with the arrival of warmer weather and ample sunshine comes more time spent outdoors. If you and your dog love the warmth and opportunities for outdoor adventures that summer brings, you need to make sure you’re prepared with all the essentials you’ll need to keep your pup safe and happy. You know you wouldn’t leave home on a hot summer day without your sunscreen, hat, and cold water, so you must take some time to consider what your dog needs to squeeze every last drop of fun out of this summer.

Read on to find 23 essentials you should consider investing in to ensure you and your pup have the best summer ever. However, make sure to never walk or exercise your dog during the warmest part of the day, as this will put them at risk of heatstroke, which is fatal if not treated promptly. Owners of brachycephalic dogs should be particularly careful, as they are more prone to overheating. Another concern is the hot asphalt that may burn their paws and the risk of sunburn.

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First Things First

Not all dogs cope well with the summer heat. This may be particularly true for very young puppies, old dogs, dogs suffering from underlying heart or lung conditions, and brachycephalic breeds. Brachy dogs are at increased risk of heatstroke due to their anatomy and conformation, having flat faces, very narrow nostrils, short noses, and long soft palates, making them unsuccessful at maintaining a normal body temperature during hot weather and causing breathing difficulties.1

Any activity, which does not need to be excessive, even walking on a hot summer day, can lead to excessive panting and may cause a brachycephalic dog to overheat. Be vigilant about the weather conditions and outside temperatures, and be mindful about your dog’s boundaries and breed related restrictions. Avoid any outside exercise, game of fetch, running, or long walks during the warmest part of the day, and find indoor game alternatives instead.

happy white dog clumber spaniel runs on a meadow in a summer field
Image Credit: Ksenia Izmaylova, Shutterstock

If your dog is panting heavily, struggling to breathe in any way, drooling, or acting disoriented, vomiting or collapsing, get them in a shaded area, offer fresh water if they can drink, start cooling them down by gently pouring water over their body, but not their head, and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Spring and summer is also the time when mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other tiny little critters become more of a nuisance. They can transfer various parasites to your dogs, some of which lead to significant illness, such as heartworm and babesiosis, depending on the geographical location. Avoid walking your dog during dusk and dawn in swampy or flooded areas due to mosquitoes.

Speak to your vet well in advance of the summer or any holiday trips, about your dog’s necessary vaccinations, worming, and flea and tick prevention. There is a great choice of vet approved products available and your veterinarian can recommend the most suitable for your pooch, in order to keep them safe during summer months.

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The 23 Summer Essentials for Dogs

Summer Safety Supplies

1. Sunscreen Spray

Emmy's Best Pet Products

Sun safety should be a top concern when you’re spending any time outside with your pup in the summer. A sunscreen spray is an easy-to-apply option to keep your dog safe from sunburn. Emmy’s Best Pet Products Sun Skin Protector Dog Spray is made with safe ingredients and is free from harmful chemicals like zinc oxide. Its non-greasy formula is lightweight, great-smelling, and even moisturizing. Do not let your dog eat any, avoid applying it directly on their face, particularly be mindful of the eyes, and spray it on your hands first before carefully applying it on your dog’s face. Speak to your vet about using sunscreen on your dog.

2. Sunscreen Stick

Sunscreen sprays are great for protecting most of your dog’s body from the sun, but for certain areas, you’ll want a more precise application. A sunscreen stick is a must-have for protecting your pup’s pink skin areas as well as their nose, ears, and muzzle. The Petkin SPF15 Doggy Sun Stick is simple to apply, and its gentle, non-greasy formula shouldn’t cause irritation. Consult with your veterinarian about the best products available for your dog.

3. Sun Balm

A sun protection balm is another great addition to your dog’s sun safety regimen. It’s particularly useful on your dog’s nose and ears to protect from the sun and treat skin irritations. Not only can My Dog Nose It! Dog Sun Protection Balm protects your pup from sunburns, but because it contains soothing ingredients like carnauba wax and coconut oil, it is useful for providing relief from dry, cracked noses and paws. Make sure they don’t lick it off. Speak to your vet if your dog has a dry or crusty nose, as this can be a sign of an underlying health condition and may require further investigations and treatment. They can confirm if the sun balm is appropriate for your pooch.

4. Sunglasses

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors or live at higher elevations are exposed to more UV than their couch potato, lower-elevation-dwelling counterparts. A pair of dog goggles (or “doggles”) may be considered for dogs exposed to high levels of UV and those who spend a lot of time adventuring outdoors. Sunglasses may protect your pup’s eyes from the sun but also help keep debris out while you’re hiking or bicycling with your pup. We recommend QUMY Dog UV Protection Sunglasses for their polarized lenses and adjustable straps, frames, and buckles. But make sure you’re considering sunglasses for your dog in order to primarily protect their eyes. Being a fun fashion accessory is only a bonus and should not be the number one reason. Your dog’s comfort and safety come first.

Of course, not all dogs will accept or tolerate wearing sunglasses, and the end of the day, this is not natural for them. If your pooch is refusing to keep them on, respect their wishes and use other precautions to keep them safe from the sun, such as shade and staying indoors for the hottest part of the day. Sunglasses may be primarily useful for pets that accompany their owners on bicycle or motorcycle trips in order to protect their eyes from debris. Dogs suffering from eye issues should be taken to the vet immediately, as wearing sunglasses may be contraindicated in some cases, and eye problems tend to worsen fast.

5. Sun Shirt

A UV sun shirt may be a worthwhile investment for some dogs, particularly those with short coats, thin fur, and light-pigmented skin. The Sun Shield Dog Tee can block over 98% of the harmful UV rays, according to the manufacturer. These shirts are made with recycled materials and are machine-friendly, so they’re easy to care for.

They have to be the right fit for your dog so they feel comfortable in them. Tight shirts cause discomfort and may lead to skin irritation. If your dog has a weeping skin wound or a similar lesion, consult with your vet first, as covering it with a pet shirt may lead to infection and further healing complications. Again, not all dogs will feel comfortable wearing a sun shirt, and these should be reserved for special circumstances and hairless dog breeds that will benefit from it, while others may actually get too hot wearing a shirt on top of their fur.

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Cooling Supplies

6. Cooling Vest

Cooling vests are great for outdoorsy pups as their water-retaining fabrics can keep them cool on hot, humid days. The Canada Pooch Cooling Dog Vest is activated with water to initiate the evaporative cooling effect. Its mesh layer provides optimal circulation and airflow, ensuring your pup can stay cool and refreshed all day long. It comes in a number of sizes and colors, so finding one that’ll suit your pup’s style and size shouldn’t be too difficult.

Still, avoid walking or exercising your dog during the warmest part of the day, as they can still suffer from heatstroke despite wearing a cooling vest. Save the walks for the morning and evening, so they can safely enjoy their summer.

7. Cooling Bandana

Cooling vests don’t work for every dog. For dogs that don’t like wearing clothes or are unable to wear a vest for other reasons, a cooling bandana is a great substitute. The Canada Pooch Wet Reveal Smiley Cooling Dog Bandana works just like the vest – all you need to do is add a bit of water to activate the cooling effect. The bandana snaps on for a secure fit and will stay cool for a long time. Its color-changing fabric will let you know when it’s time to re-wet it to re-initiate the cooling effect.

8. Cooling Mat

The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad

A cooling mat is a fantastic investment as it not only provides your pup with a cool place to relax on a hot day but also a way to maintain their body temperature and prevent overheating. The Green Pet Shop’s Cool Pet Pad is a pressure-activated cooling pad made with a non-toxic gel formula that absorbs your dog’s body heat and reduces their body temperature.

9. Cooling Dog Bed

While cooling mats are great for travel and use outdoors, cooling dog beds are perfect for a more permanent solution during the summer. The FurHaven Comfy Couch Cooling Gel Cat & Dog Bed with Removable Cover is a great way to keep your pup cool indoors. Its faux fur sleep surface is super soft and cozy, while the microgel beads work overtime to ensure your dog stays comfortable temperature-wise.dogster paw divider

Outdoor Adventuring Supplies

10. Water Bottle

Highwave AutoDogMug

Hydration is important year-round, but it’s especially essential in the summer when your pup is at risk of dehydration. A portable water bottle is an absolute must for any of your outdoor adventures. The Highwave AutoDogMug Portable Dog Water Bottle & Bowl actually provides a one-handed dog hydration system. All you need to do is squeeze the bottle gently to fill the attached bowl. When your grip relaxes, the water returns to the bottle for your pup’s next hydration break.

11. Life Jacket

If your outdoor adventures are leading you to the water, a life jacket is an absolute must for your pup since even the best swimmers can tire out after too much time in the lake. The Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket will keep your dog afloat without inhibiting them from splashing. The side panels and floatation flap will keep your dog’s head above water, and the emergency handles at the top make grabbing your pup and pulling them from the water easy.

12. Waterproof Shoes

If you’ve ever tried walking on the sidewalk or beach without footwear during a hot summer day, you know how scorching hot these surfaces can become. Waterproof shoes are a must to protect your dog’s sensitive paw pads from hot pavement and sand. Otherwise, it’s best not to walk them on such surfaces during the hottest part of the day, as they are at risk of getting their paws burned. The QUMY Dog Shoes are a secure and adjustable option outfitted with reflective straps for nighttime adventures. Their thick rubber soles cover every point of contact with whatever surfaces your pup is walking on to keep them safe and burn-free.

13. Vehicle AC Extender

If your summer plans require a lot of car travel, you might consider an air conditioning extender to keep your pup cool in the backseat. The NOGGLE 6-Foot Personal Air Conditioning System is actually designed with human children in mind, but there’s no reason why your fur baby can’t also benefit from the system. The NOGGLE is made in three sizes (6, 8, or 10 feet) to accommodate vehicles of all sizes and configurations. It’s a lightweight and flexible system that takes less than 30 seconds to install.

14. Watersports Traction Pad

If your dog loves nothing more than tagging along for all your watersport adventures, you need to get a traction pad for your paddleboards, surfboards, and kayaks. The Pelican Dog Traction Pad has four EVA foams to provide a good grip for your pup. The cushions have two pop-out dog paws that can be removed and placed in other places on your watercraft for additional traction.

15. Water Toy

What day at the pool or beach would be complete without a fun water toy? The KONG Aqua Dog Toy was created with retriever training in mind. Its secure and long-distance throw rope makes it easy for your dog to grab it and return it to you for hours of healthy fun in and out of the water.

16. First Aid Kit

Outdoor adventurers should have a first aid kit on hand at all times. You likely have one in your car or hiking backpack for yourself, but you should also have one nearby for your dog. The Kurgo First Aid Kit for Dogs & Cats has 50 pieces, including sting relief pads, bandages, antiseptic towelettes, and an instant cold pack. It even comes with a handy first aid booklet based on current veterinary guidelines, so you know exactly what you need to do if your dog gets injured during your adventures. It’s also useful to add a tick remover tweezer in there, which you can purchase from your vet or a pet shop. Keep your vet’s phone number handy, as well as the numbers and addresses of local vets, if you’re out on an adventure. Call them for advice in case of an emergency, as they can tell you what to do while you’re on the way to the clinic.

It’s also useful to add a tick remover tweezer in there, which you can purchase from your vet or a pet shop. Keep your vet’s phone number handy, as well as the numbers and addresses of local vets, if you’re out on an adventure. Call them for advice in case of an emergency, as they can tell you what to do while you’re on the way to the clinic.

dogster paw dividerBackyard Fun Supplies

17. Swimming Pool

Pet pools are awesome for keeping your dog cool in the summer heat and giving them a great way to burn off some excess steam. The Yaheetech Foldable Pet Pool is made of sturdy materials and features an anti-skid bottom to keep it stationed exactly where you want it in your yard. It comes in three sizes and color options. Because it’s not inflatable, it won’t ‘pop’ and should last you many summers of fun backyard water splashing.

18. Sprinkler

If your dog doesn’t like the idea of a backyard pool, a splash pad may be more up their alley. The Flying Paws Splash Sprinkler Pad for Dogs is made with non-slip and eco-friendly materials for a durable and safe afternoon of splashing fun. You can change the direction and height of the spray by adjusting your water pressure. However, because this is inflatable, make sure you trim your dog’s nails before letting them play on the pad.

19. Covered Bed

An outdoor, shade-friendly bed is a must for families that spend a lot of time in their backyard during the summer. Your dog needs somewhere cool and sun-free to retreat to when they feel hot. The raised design of the waterproof K&H Pet Products Original Indoor/Outdoor Covered Elevated Dog Bed protects from unwanted pests. This bed has a mesh center and two windows, promoting air circulation and breathability.dogster paw divider

Indoor Summer Supplies

20. Pet Crate Fan

In the summer, most homeowners turn on fans to keep their home’s air circulating and as cool as possible when temperatures start rising. If you know your home gets hot or if you don’t have air conditioning, you should invest in a crate fan to keep your pup cool at night. The O2Cool Treva Pet Crate Fan is a battery-powered option that’ll keep your pet cool even if the power goes out. The fan operates quietly regardless of which of the two speeds you use.

21. Cooling Water Bowl

A cooling water bowl is a great way to ensure the water your dog drinks in the summer stays fresh and cool. The K&H Pet Products Coolin’ Pet Bowl can keep water cold or hours, ensuring your dog will stay hydrated all day long, regardless of how hot it gets in your home. The bowl’s cooling capabilities are thanks to its inner gel core and double-walled insulation, so there’s no electricity required.

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Summer Hygiene Supplies

22. Ear Cleaner

Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats

If your dog enjoys spending time in the water during the summer, and they have big floppy ears or are prone to ear issues, you’ll need to be more diligent about cleaning their ears, as swimming can cause irritation and even ear infections. The Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs & Cats is a veterinary-approved formula intended to keep your pooch’s ears clean. Speak to your veterinarian on how to clean your dog’s ears and get them checked out promptly if they develop an ear infection.

23. Pet Wipes

Your dog can get into all sorts of messes when you spend a lot of time outside. If they’re starting to smell but hate baths, or you’re camping and have no access to running water, Hepper Wash Wipes are a great way to keep your pup smelling fresh and clean. These wipes are infused with natural, moisturizing ingredients to keep your pup’s skin and coat looking its best. They are also super strong and durable, making them useful for tackling dirt and grime.

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Summer is a time of fun in the sun, but it can be dangerous—and even deadly—without the proper equipment and precautions. Thankfully, with some foresight and ample preparation, you can ensure that you and your dog have a healthy, fun, and safe summer. Happy adventuring!

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Featured Image Credit: Ivonne-Wierink, Shutterstock

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