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This summer, the dogs and I have spent a lot (a LOT) of time outside. But that also means they have spent a LOT of time trying to cool off in the summer heat.

dog on the grass wearing harness

So, we’ve learned together about cooling down. Here are a few tips on what I’ve learned to help them chill out, and I hope they help you too! Oh yeah… plenty of pup photos to go around as well. ?

How to Keep Dogs Cool in the Summer (or anytime you need to beat the heat)

Provide shade

Dog houses don’t always have ventilation, so they need other forms of shade, such as an overhang or umbrella (Jen’s doghouse gazebo is a great design if you’re looking for one with shade + ventilation!). One of Charlie’s favorite spots is on the cool grass near the house where she gets half & half. Since Stella is much smaller, she tends to hide under all sorts of places outside.

diy doghouse gazebo
DIY Doghouse Gazebo

Give them plenty of water

Throw ice cubes into a water bowl outside (though I’ll warn ya, they might try to eat the ice cube or bob for it and half-snort the water in the process… I’m not going to call her out by name, but she’s the one givin’ ya the “Blue Steel” look above ?).

Add a fan

This is a favorite of these two. As we worked on the shed this summer, they sat right out in front of the doorway where we had our work tent set up, and the fan blew directly on them. It’s nice that the fan helps ward off mosquitoes too, since they’re weak fliers (Stella is sensitive to the pills/treatments most dogs get, so we have to take extra steps to keep them away).

Charlie and Stella napping on the grass together

Reduce shedding

Indoors, I clean up any excess shedding with Swiffer (you guys already know how I love using them for quick & easy cleanup). Want to see me lose my cool? Nothing quite tops finding a dog hair in the butter. Ew. Somehow, it manages to travel like crazy on long-haired dogs in particular. So, now that I have two pups that live in the house, it’s more important than ever to reduce shedding whenever possible. #ShedHappens

brushing out Charlie

After I give Charlie a bath, I bring her right outside to do a thorough comb-out. She loves the attention and the feel of the brush, so she happily stands on the new deck until I’m done. Despite my brushing, there’s always a regular pile of fur combed out, especially when transitioning from winter to summer.

Tip: At the end of brushing her, I will take a Swiffer dry sheet and wipe her down. Since her wiry fur gets trapped in the little fibers of the dry cloth, it seems to do a nice job of getting all the remaining fur that got combed loose, but not loose enough to actually clump and brush out with the rest.

As for Stella, she’s a lot more obedient in the bath and enjoys the attention. That’s lucky for us, since she needs to be bathed a little more frequently. Her long hair can get matted, she loves to dig for chipmunks and the like, and she has been peed on a couple of times by my sister’s male pup (Dobby… he’s the sweetest boy, but he could work on his aim ?!).

These regular baths + de-shedding combo clear out excess fur, which would otherwise trap heat and make it harder on them to regulate their body temps (they get thicker coats in the winter and shed for a reason!).

Stella in morning sunlight

Frozen treats

I have a recipe for this coming soon! Let’s just say that banana and peanut butter are a favorite around here, but if you’re dog isn’t a fan of peanut butter (Stella strangely isn’t, that little psycho), then there will be an option for that too.

Walk them during cooler hours

Charlie has been training every night with K on their nightly walks around the neighborhood. I’m sad to admit that I was pretty terrible about leash training, so I’m glad to see that she’s gotten a lot better!

But with the summer months and humidity being so brutal on them both, I’m careful to let them out in the mornings when it’s cooler and their evening walks are well after dark. It also makes for some cute photos when the morning light hits.

Charlie in the morning

Cool down their paws & ears with a wet towel

Wiping down a dog’s paws or ears is similar to you holding something cool on your neck or the back of your knee. Capillaries are close to the surface here, so a cool towel is quick and easy. Just don’t do this with ice or anything freezing cold; they will hate it as much as you would hate an ice cube surprisingly sliding down your back!

Signs of  a heat problem (& summertime don’ts)

  • Don’t leave them in a hot car (this should go without saying, but NEVER DO THIS)
  • Watch for vomiting, excessive drooling, fatigue, heavy panting/difficulty breathing, diarrhea, or seizures
  • Don’t keep them out all day… my pups are both troopers, but we allow them in & out of the house, to follow us inside whenever we go to cool down.

Charlie relaxing on the new sectional and getting everything covered in dog hair

Do your dogs have any of their own beat-the-heat habits?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by my awesome pals at Swiffer, but all opinions are 100% my own.

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