Humans have no right to complain about summer heat waves: The only fur coats we wear are removable. And as unpleasant as it is for us to wait for the train on a subway platform while there is steam rising from the ground and homeless men using the ground as a pancake griddle, at least we humans can make conscious decisions about which light-weight T to wear, or which air conditioned mall to go to. Also: We can sweat all over. Dogs, on the other hand, are covered with hair and only sweat from very small areas–their noses and paw pads. Their inferior self-cooling system means they need some human assistance to make sure they don’t suffer too much during these summer months. Here are the best products for keeping a dog hydrated and happy on even the sweatiest days.
The WaterDog is a battery-operated device can be hooked up to any outside water hose or faucet. It comes complete with motion-sensor technology, so that whenever your dog gets within three feet of the device, clean and cool water will start pouring out. They also sell a WaterDog remote location kit, so the fountain can be placed right in the middle of your back yard if that better suits your needs.
With Freezy Pups, you can reward your hot dog with a cold snack at any time of the day. These DIY treats are very easy to make. The starter kit comes with an ice cube tray (in the shape of a dog bone) and four flavor packets. Mix a flavor packet with hot water, pour into the tray, and freeze. I make these for my dog year-round, but he especially enjoys their icy goodness in the summer. Using a my dog Weezy as a sample group, I can report that the white cheddar cheese flavor is the yummiest. Of course, you can also fill it with water and use it to make cute dog-themed drink (for humans, of course).
Soak the Cool-It Bandana in cold water for 30 minutes prior to use, allowing the crystals inside of it to absorb the cold water and stay cool for hours. Putting this on your dog right before heading out for a day at the dog park is a great way to make sure he or she doesn’t overheat while playing in the sun.
The Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest is like the full-body version of the bandana mentioned above. The vest reflects sunlight and is made of breathable mesh, so even if it seems like it might not be as comfortable as simply putting something around your dog’s neck, the product is engineered to keep them very cool. It comes in a huge range of sizes from XX-Small to X-Large, so it should hopefully be relatively easy to find a vest to fit your dog.
The Paw Pool is perfect for anyone without a backyard pool and with a dog who loves to play in the water. There are cheaper options, like buying a plastic kiddie pool for $20, but my experience with those is that they tend to break pretty easily due to their flimsy build. If you live somewhere without a yard to fill this up in, check out local dog parks to see if they’ve put up a pool for the summer. Several dog parks I have visited in NYC recently have them now for dogs who are jonsing for a dip.
Freezing your dog’s toys into a chunk of ice can provide hours of entertainment and will keep your puppy hydrated. The Kool Dogz Ice Treat Maker allows you to create a big chunk of ice filled with your dog’s favorite toys and treats, rest it on a stand, and let them lick it until they get what they want in order to start playing.
Bringing a dog along for a car ride when you run errands might seem like a fun way to get them out of the house, but it is important to remember that leaving them inside the vehicle while you run into the store could be very dangerous. An easy way to gauge if you can turn off the engine for a bit while your dog is in the car is with a thermometer sticker that illustrates what temperatures are comfortable for your pet.