Dogs are man’s best friend, but sometimes it can seem daunting to protect and love your pup during the warmer months. While you want to spend time together during the summer, you also want to make sure you aren’t putting them in situations where they might overheat. If you follow these six ways to help your dog stay cool, you won’t have to worry!

Keep Water On Hand

A simple but effective way to help your dog stay cool in the summertime is to always keep fresh, cool water close by. Just think about how refreshing those sips of water are for you when it’s warm out, and then consider the extra fur your dog has. Dogs know when they need water, but encourage them to take regular drinks during the day, and always keep it accessible in places where they know to find it.

Never Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

As you surely already know, you should never leave your dog in a hot car. This means not leaving your dog inside a car in even remotely warm weather, and especially never during the summer. While the inside of your car may seem fairly cool to you, you have to remember that your furry friend’s body heats at a different rate, and dogs can’t sweat to cool themselves down. The best way for dogs to regulate their temperatures is through panting, but even then they can’t cool down like humans can.

The inside of a car can act like a greenhouse with the temperature inside picking up rapidly, even if it’s balmy weather outdoors. In fact, on a 75 degree day it only takes 10 minutes for the inside of your car to reach 100 degrees. Leave your dog at home, or plan ahead of time to drop your dog at home after your walk if you know you’re going somewhere your pet can’t join you.

Give Your Dog a Chance To Swim

Just like nothing cools people down like a dip in the water, your dog can also stay nice and cool by going for a swim. Some breeds of dogs are known to love water (like Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Poodles, English Setters, and German Shepherds) and others—notably many small dogs and toy breeds—tend to dislike the water (like Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Greyhounds).

But fortunately, there are lots of ways to let your dog get in the water. While your big dog might like swimming in the ocean or the pool, you can also consider options like a shallow kiddie pool or a yard sprinkler. Even a cool bath can do the trick.

Give Your Pup a Summer Haircut

If you’ve ever cut your hair before summer, you know the instant feeling of relief that lightness brings. If your dog has a fluffy coat, you should also consider getting them cut down a bit for summer. Remember that their hair will grow back quickly and you’ll help them stay cool in the meantime. For dogs with double coats, it’s true that an undercoat can actually work to provide cooling and sun protection to your pup—but only if it isn’t matted. Use your best judgment to determine whether a summer haircut is the best option to keep your pet breezy in the heat.

Time Your Walks To Stay Cool

Even though it’s hot outside in the summer, dogs still need their daily walks. But to protect their soft paw pads from getting burnt on hot pavement and their furry bodies from overheating, you want to be strategic about the timing of your walks. The best time to walk your dog is during the cool hours of the day. Avoid midday walks when the sun is highest and hottest. Instead, opt for early morning and evening walks when you and your fur baby can experience breezier temperatures and some shade.

Do the Hand Test on the Pavement Before Taking Your Dog for a Walk

Even if you’re careful about the timing of your walks, the ground can become hot quickly without your shoe-covered feet knowing it. Your furry friend will notice though, and hot pavement can actually lead to burnt paw pads. Even if you’re just walking from your car to the house after a morning walk, the ground could already be at a point where it’s painful for your dog’s sensitive paws.

Always do a skin check when you question the temperature of the ground in order to keep your pup safe. Simply place your bare hand or foot on the ground and hold it there for five to seven seconds. If it feels uncomfortable for you, you know it’ll be the same for your dog.

Remember that if your dog is showing discomfort, whether from paw pad issues, itching, stress, or other reasons, you can provide them relief with dog cbd.

You love your furry friend and he/she loves you; as a dog owner, there are lots of steps you want to take to keep your pet safe and happy. Follow these six ways to keep your dog nice and cool this summer when the heat rises. Your dog will thank you for your care with lots of puppy kisses!