The current heat waves around the country this Summer have been in the news a lot lately. Record hot weather is being seen all across the U.S. Phoenix has had more consecutive days of 110F + degrees than ever before. Florida is experiencing a record number of consecutive 90F + days, and there are many other instances of unusual, extreme heat. This extreme hot  weather isn't just hard on people, it's also difficult for dogs. Here are some tips to help keep dogs cool and safe in Summer weather.

KEEP DOGS COOL AND SAFE IN SUMMER  Tips to keep dogs cool in hot weather
Tips to keep dogs cool in hot weather

As a bonus, I also share 4 of my favorite cool, refreshing Summertime dog treat recipes down below!


❅ I'll start off with one of the most important tips to keep dogs cool on hot days, and that is to keep your dog well Hydrated at all times! The average dog drinks about 1 ounce of water (1/8 cup) for every pound of body weight. On really hot days, your dog might need even more water. 

I never let my dog's water bowl run dry. I keep it full with clean, cool water day and night. I also mix canned or other wet food in with my dogs dry food for extra hydration.  

❅ Add some ice shavings or ice cubes to your dog's water. Many dogs enjoy playing with, or even eating ice cubes. This can help cool their body temperature down a bit. 

❅ Take Cover! When you're out and about with your dog, or even in your own yard, always find shade for your dog. It's important to limit their time in direct sun and provide plenty of shade for them to escape the heat of hot direct sun.

❅ Limit dog walks to early mornings or later in the day after the sun sets. Midday is the hottest time of day, and the heat can be too much for your dog. I shorten my dogs' walks, and I don't take them out during the hottest time of the day.

❅ Watch out for hot pavement and beach sand! These surfaces can get extremely hot and potentially burn your dog's paws, especially during the hottest time of the day. Consider dog booties or carrying your dog if needed. Place the back of your hand on the pavement or sand for 10 seconds. If it feels too hot for you, it's definitely too hot for your dog!

❅ Never, ever leave your dog in the car on a hot day! It's amazing hot fast the inside of a car can become dangerously hot. The temperature inside a car can increase by 20F degrees within 10 minutes, even with a window cracked open! Heat stroke can become a significant danger. It's also illegal in many states.

If you think the heat is getting to be a bit much for your dog during a walk or hike, soak your dog's favorite bandana in cold water. Ring it out and place it around your dog's neck. The bandana will stay cool for awhile and offers a bit of coolness on your dog's neck.

❅ Get a Cool Mat for dogs. I like the self cooling kind that automatically activates when the dog lays on it. Icy loved to lay on her cool mat on hot days. I have to get her a new one, this one's gotten so ratty from all the use over the years!

❅ Similar to a cool mat, your dog can wear a cooling vest for dogs. I haven't tried one yet, but I think Icy would like it.

Dogs (and cats) sweat through their paws, and cool themselves down through panting. Senior dogs, dogs who are overweight, and Brachycephalic dogs (short nosed/pushed in face dogs including French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, etc) are at higher risk for heat stroke.

Following these dog health tips for hot weather will help your dog be more comfortable in Summer weather. But far more importantly, these tips can help avoid your dog getting Dehydration and Heat Stroke in hot weather.  



Now the fun part! Here are 4 of my favorite Summer Dog Treat Recipes to give dogs a cool, refreshing treat when the weather heats up!

Yogurt, Berry & Banana Dog Treat Recipe:

1/4 cup Blueberries
1/4 cup peeled, sliced banana
1/4 cup pineapple chunks 
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Few chunks of watermelon (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Chop or Puree until mixed well but not liquified.  

You can serve this dog treat in 3 different ways:

1 Pour the fruit mixture into ice cube trays and freeze them to give as individual treats.

Add the mixture into a treat toy such as a Kong toy and freeze as a fun, cool treat dogs can play with.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerator and once it's cool, spread it on a Lickimat for your dog to enjoy! 

A Lickimat can be a calming activity for dogs. It can also slow down a dog's eating so they don't wolf the whole thing down. Or, it can just serve as a fun activity for dogs as they lick to work the treat out of the grooves in the mat. Spread about 1/4 cup of the chilled mixture around on a Lickimat and let your dog start licking!

Lickimats are a fun activity for dogs!


Whichever way you choose to serve this treat, your dog will love you for it!

This next dog treat recipe is super simple! It requires just two ingredients.

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dog Treat Recipe:

5 Tbsp. Yogurt (Greek Yogurt makes for a good thick mixture)
2 large scoops of Peanut butter

STEP 1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter together in a small bowl until blended. Mixture should be smooth and thickened. You don't want the mixture to be runny, otherwise you'll have trouble filling a stuffable dog toy or ice cube tray.

STEP 2.  Add the mixture to a Kong toy or other stuffable dog toy.  

STEP 3.  Place the peanut butter yogurt stuffed toy into the freezer

STEP 4. OR  you can spoon the thick mixture into an ice cube tray instead of stuffing a dog toy with it!

The blobs of treat mixture, once frozen, should easily pop out of the tray without sticking to it.  

I love this next frozen dog treat recipe. This is a new one for me, and I love that it contains blueberries, which are healthy for dogs, and high in antioxidants and vitamins C and K. This treat recipe for dogs isn't one you can stuff in a dog treat toy, the mixture is liquid and must be frozen.

Pineapple Blueberry Frozen Dog Treat Recipe:

1/4 cup Blueberries
1/4 cup of pineapple juice, OR packaged/canned small pineapple chunks packed in pineapple juice or water (there should be more liquid than pineapple pieces)

STEP 1  Pour the pineapple juice and small chunks (if you included pineapple chunks) into ice cube trays.  Don't overfill, leave a bit of room in the tray to add the blueberries.

STEP 2  Add blueberries one at a time on top of the pineapple mixture. Add as many as you want as long as they fit and the pineapple juice doesn't overflow.

STEP 3  Place ice cube tray in the freezer until frozen.  Give these frozen treats to your dog for a delicious, healthy dog treat that's nice and cool!

This recipe can be extra fun if you have paw print shaped ice cube trays! Place blueberries in the "toes" of the paw prints.

Puppsicles are always fun to make, and this next recipe for Puppsicle frozen dog treats only requires 3 ingredients! 

Pineapple Yogurt Jerky Puppsicles Dog Treat Recipe:

Frozen Pineapple Yogurt Jerky Puppsicle Dog Treats

8 oz Can (or other packaged) of pineapple chunks in 100% juice or water
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
Jerky Sticks

* I used Hill's Flexi-Stix Jerky for this recipe but you can use any other firm, stick shaped dog treat like Dentastix, Whimzees, or any other stick dog treats your dog loves.

STEP 1  Blend together pineapple chunks and about a tablespoon of the juice with the yogurt in a blender (or bowl if you're using a mixer). 

STEP 2  Pour the mixture into ice cube trays.  Then place a jerky stick in the middle of each tray so it functions as a popsicle stick.  Shorter sticks usually stay upright in the tray a bit better. 

Note: If the sticks fall over when you place them in the trays, you can break them into smaller sizes OR you can place the tray into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to stiffen up the mixture and then try placing the sticks in the trays again. 

STEP 3  Freeze, then treat your dog to a cool puppsicle treat!

Dogs will appreciate the extra tasty dog treat stick in these delicious, refreshing Pineapple Yogurt Jerky Puppsicles!

Your dog will love these cooling homemade dog treats! But if you don't have these ingredients handy, or you don't have much time to make DIY dog treats, you can fill ice cube trays with bone broth and just freeze them. You can even put small dog treats and water into ice cube trays and freeze. Both of these quick simple dog treats will give dogs a cool, refreshing treat to help them beat the heat.

How do you keep your pet cool on hot Summer days? Leave us a comment and share your tips below!

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Anonymous said...

This is absolutely essential reading for pets in summer and I absolutely LOVE the recipte idea. We have licky mats here and I need to get one for our cats, they really slow down the guzzling!!!

Marjorie at Dash Kitten

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

Ooohhh...great recipes!!! You are spot on with the ways to keep your pup cool. Excellent. I think Henry would love the peanut and yogurt treat. He's a simple boy. Heck, I would like that one too! Super article with essential information for all dog parent, especially during the summer. I'm sharing with all my dog parents! Thank you! said...

These are superb tips to keep your dogs safe in the summer heat. I love that pic with Icy on the cooling mat. And you provided some delicious cool treats for pups. I'll definitely be sharing with my dog mom friends.

LaylasWoof said...

Good reminder and ideas what to do and I love the recipes. Layla wears a cooling vest on hot days and when in the park we sit near a tree for shade as I watch her carefully not to over heet plus lots of water. Since in the stroller I only let her walk in the shade of the sidewalk and I have a bowl and water in the stroller all the time.

FiveSibesMom said...

Heat and hydration awareness is so important. Gibson loved his cooler bed! And all of my FiveSibes loved wearing cooler collars, too. I adore that pic of Icy in the pool! And those recipes...yummy! Great article! Can't wait to share! Stay cool, friends!

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