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9 Ways to Keep Your Pup Cool During the Dog Days of Summer

A lab mix dog sitting on an elevated bed, a husky dog wearing a gray harness, and a boy bathing a retriever in a pool.

You might be happy that the sunny days of summer are approaching, but your dog might not be. If you’re worried about keeping your pup cool during hot weather, these products can help.

Dogs don’t have the ability to sweat very well, so they cool themselves mainly by panting. This works well enough on a slightly warm day, but if your dog is stuck outside with little shade in high temperatures, she’s going to be pretty miserable. This is especially true if your pet has a thick coat.

Fortunately, the items below can help you keep your pup cool in the summer heat, so you can both enjoy the sunshine.

Freezable Dog Toy

Someone puts treats in a penguin-shaped dog toy and a dog eats out of it.

An easy way to help your dog cool off in the summer is to freeze their treats. This is more feasible for some items than others, but this freezable dog toy makes it super easy to freeze chicken broth, peanut butter, and more.

The toy lies flat so you don’t have to worry about anything leaking in your freezer. Its lipped design also means your dog will have to work hard to get the last remnants inside, which is perfect for owners of dogs who usually inhale treats within minutes. You can count on this keeping your pup cool and content for quite a while.

Dog Pool

A kid plays with a dog in a dog pool.

Whether you don’t have a full-sized pool or you don’t want to deal with cleaning out the dog hair, this smaller dog pool is a great alternative. It’s made with a durable PVC surface that won’t tear from even the rowdiest dog paws.

Some other cool features include a drainage hole at the bottom for easy emptying when you’re done and a water line to avoid overfilling. It can also be folded into a small, portable size for easy storage and transportation. There’s no air pump needed to use it—just unfold it and stick the hose inside. It can also double as a kiddie pool for extra fun family time.

Plastic Pool

A small plastic dog pool top view and side view.

While the large dog pool above is a great long-term investment, you can also grab a small plastic pool for a more budget-friendly option instead. This is perfect for smaller dogs or those that just need a small area to cool off in sometimes.

This one measures 36 inches wide x 6 inches high. It’s a little harder to transport and store, but the hard plastic is durable and it won’t crack easily. Make sure to empty it and wipe it down every few days so mildew and algae don’t grow inside.

Elevated Dog Bed

A dog sits on an elevated dog bed.
Amazon Basics

Does your dog sleep on the floor a lot in the summer? It’s probably because his cozy bed is just too hot. Traditional dog beds trap body heat, just like your mattress probably does. This can be nice for smaller dogs with short hair, but uncomfortable for larger furbabies with thicker coats.

This elevated dog bed is made with a thin but comfortable mesh fabric that allows airflow on all sides of your pup. They’ll stay comfortable and cool at night, even when it’s warm. Set up a fan nearby for a bonus cooling option.

Cooling Mat

Two dogs sit on blue mats.

This mat keeps your dog cool by using a gel formula that’s pressure-activated to reduce heat when it’s touched. There’s no need to freeze it or keep it in the fridge. It recharges automatically within 20 minutes of non-use.

It’s perfect to keep in the living room or outside, although you should avoid storing it in direct sunlight. It’s also a great option for dogs that get overheated in the car. The gel is also nontoxic and safe for pets that mistake it for a chew toy.


A gray bandana and a dog wears a gray bandana.
Brave Bark

Humans have cooling bandanas, so why shouldn’t pets? Just dip this pet bandana in water, wring it out, and tie it around your pup’s neck for cooling comfort. It’ll stay cool for a good amount of time, but you can always just wet it down again after it dries.

This is a great option if you’re taking your dog on a long walk or hike because it’s an easy way to make sure he won’t get overheated. Reviewers have found success with all types of dogs, even those with thick, shaggy fur.


A dog mannequin wears a gray and green vest and a dog wears the same vest.

Similar to the bandana, you wet this dog vest before putting it on your pet. Its three-layer fabric then quickly turns the water to vapor and provides a cooling effect. The mesh material also wicks away any excess moisture that might be trapped on your dog’s skin.

The vest comes in multiple sizes and even has a leash attachment ring so you can use it instead of a harness. The heat-reflecting colors also work to keep the sun from pounding on your dog’s back.


A golden retriever sitting in front of an electric fan.
Woottinun Punthasen/Shutterstock

You can use a fan to keep your dog cool, but it’s important to understand that fans don’t work for dogs the same as they do for humans. You feel cooler in front of a fan because it evaporates the sweat off your body, which creates a chilling effect. This is also why we get really cold when we get out of a pool on a windy day.

As we mentioned previously, dogs don’t sweat through their skin as we do. Rather, they sweat through their paw pads and release heat by panting. Despite this, many dogs do seem to enjoy the feeling of a fan blowing across their body.

You can actually improve the effect by dampening their fur with a wet towel or misting bottle. The evaporation of the water off their bodies will cool them just as it does you.

AC Extender

A dog sits in the back seat of a car with an AC extending tube pushing cool hair towards him.

Rolling down your car windows is a great way to keep your pup cool on road trips, but that isn’t always possible on the highway or during strong winds. If your car doesn’t have vents that reach the middle row or the back of your vehicle, your dog can get really hot really fast without an extra breeze.

This cool AC extender actually attaches to your car’s air conditioner and lets you direct the cold air wherever you need it in the vehicle. While it’s mainly marketed to parents, it works just as well for furbabies.

Just make sure you set up the hose before you start driving and attach it somewhere your dog won’t be able to knock it out of place.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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