Keeping Your Dog Safe in Hot Weather

Hot weather can really stress your pet's health. I have three inside dogs and have found that even with air conditioning a pet can be uncomfortable. Many problems can arise from the heat and humidity so here is what I have found over the years of pet ownership that keep my pets happy, healthy, and my wallet healthy too!


I change my pets water twice a day. I also have a 3.5 gallon gravity fed watering bowl for them. One of the best things I have found to help my pets stay healthy in this weather is to take several used bottled water bottles and fill them with tap water. I then place them in the freezer and each time I change my pets water, I place a frozen bottled water in the bowl of fresh water. This allows the fresh water I have set out to stay cool longer. I just keep extras in the freezer and change them out each day. I have also frozen used butter tubs and made big "ice cubes" in the bowl of water.

I like to give my pets healthy treats as well. I try to use all of our leftovers for either my husband and I or the pets. If I have lean meat left over, I will cut it up in small pieces and put them in a zip lock bag. I then label the bag and place it in the deep freezer. This gives my pets a nice treat from time to time w/o costing me a lot. In freezing the meats, I have them available for however long it takes to use them up and it also takes them longer to chew the treat up.

Often I find old fleece throws that I use for my pets bedding. I take one throw and cut it into four nice ones. I get more mileage from the one throw by cutting it up that way.

Fleas can be a major problem in heat and humidity. I know that many people don't have the time to do this as often as I do, but I bathe my dogs at least once a week in this hot weather. It makes them more comfortable and fleas are not a problem for them. I use the cheap blue Dawn dish detergent every other wash. This will kill fleas and my Yorkie's hair tends to be a little greasy. It works great on his hair. Sometimes after I have taken my bath I will pop my little dogs in the left over water and give them a quick bath. Then I towel dry them well and let them air dry. I only use a hair dryer in the winter months. I always use a little cream rinse on them so that they do not have tangles when they dry, then I brush them out later. I use baby shampoo in between the Dawn baths. I have used vinegar to rinse the dogs too. I keep the water tepid in temperature during the bath and remember, always wash the head and face last. This is when they want to "shake" the water off. Be gentle around the eyes and mouth. No need to be rough in this area and the dog will enjoy the bath much more. I was afraid to cut my Yorkie's hair for years. However, I live in the country and just hate to pay $30 to have him shaved down each summer. It really stressed him out too. A few months ago I found dog clippers on sale for $15. I bought them and figured if I clip my Yorkie's hair down and he looked like a "refugee", what did it matter? As long as he is cool and he is a good boy about getting his hair cut by his mommy it's all good! It has been a learning curve for me and him! The nice thing is that I can cut him as needed a little at a time and I am getting better at it over time. I can also clean my other long haired little girl's "privates" as needed too! So my $15 investment has more than paid off.

I cannot clip my own dog's nails and have tried for the longest time to do so. I should have started years ago doing them when they were puppies but did not. So I have found a nail clinic that is held each month by the local humane society. They will do it for a donation and I take the "babies" to it every few months. This cost me about $20 and I am more than happy to make the donation! I have a designated room for my babies and I keep it mopped and bedding changed every day. I know that many don't think they have the time to do this, but I find it much easier to keep the room clean and fresh smelling by attending to it every day.

The very best advice I can give someone that wants to have a dog or cat is only get one you can take care of. Don't get a large pet if you don't have the adequate room and time to devote to the pet's care. I have three dogs that I have the time and room for and I would not take anything for any of them! Good luck!

By JONNIE from Calhoun, KY

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During the summer, I fill a stainless steel dog dish with water and freeze it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, I turn it over and the ice slides out into my dog's water dish, keeping their water cold for a few hours.

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My service dog is a Shih Tzu. I try not to take him out in the heat, but when I do I put him on my lap to keep him off the hot ground. I wrap a cloth around a cold gel pack for him to lay on and help him to stay cool.

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I was watching the Dog Whisperer and he said if a dog gets overheated in the summer, the best way to cool him off is get them to stand in water up to their bellies. Dogs will cool off faster this way rather than spraying them with water on their backs.

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Living in Florida, the heat is horrible for my outdoor pets. I bought a cheap kiddy, outdoor pool, and put in the back yard in the sun. When my pup gets hot, he dives in, and plays with his toys in the pool. He stays cool at the same time.

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This tip works for both dogs and cats, although cats aren't as happy about it. When the temps rise as they have this summer, keep some wet bandanas in the freezer. When the temps start to soar, tie one around the neck of your pet.

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July 20, 2006

Walking Dogs and Cats on Hot Pavement. My tip is for the concern of walking you dog/cat. Living here in Nevada, the heat can be extreme and also the sidewalks. Take care that your pet doesn't get heat exhaustion, too. . .

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September 17, 2007

I freeze two plastic cups 8 oz. or 16 oz. for my dog's water bowl for cool water all day long. Every night, I fix the cups so they freeze by the next day.

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As the weather warms up, pet owners need to be aware of the potential hazards to their pets, both as a result of poisoning and the weather itself.

Keeping Your Pets Safe as the Days Get Hotter - dog drinking from water bottle

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Whee! Have a hot dog or children? Start the sprinkler and add dog or kids the combination can be magical and super entertaining to observe and it's cheap!

Dog playing in sprinkler.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 24, 2006

Does anyone know about a water bowl for dogs that keeps the water cold? There just has to be such a thing, especially for us Southern people!

Suzi from Central TX


July 25, 20060 found this helpful

Hi - I don't know about a dog dish that will keep the water cold - we usually freeze the water so that the water is pretty cold most of the day as it melts ...I use the two bowl system - one in the freezer at all times then swap them over when the other one has melted and the water is getting warm. I wash the bowl and refresh the water each time

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By Robin (Guest Post)
July 25, 20060 found this helpful

You can sometimes buy insulated bowls, but the water will still only stay cold for just so long. I recommend that you freeze large blocks of ice and put into their water or else just take it out and let it melt. They will love it! My collie loves to "fish" for ice cubes in her water. She will stick her whole long nose in, clear up to her eyes to get one!

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By J, Alabama (Guest Post)
July 26, 20060 found this helpful

I've seen them at Tuesday Morning, if you have one near you. I've seen them at more than one store, 3 different states. Anyway, you know the mugs you can buy that have that gel stuff in it that you put in the freezer and it keeps your beverages cold? Same thing except that the get stuff is keeping the bowl clean. When I saw it, I thought it was about time someone came up with something like that.

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July 26, 20060 found this helpful

I am thinking that crockery (mostly unglazed) would permit water evaporation and possibly keep water at less than boiling hot. You might have to experiment.
Would it be healthy to drink from this? I don't know.

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July 28, 20060 found this helpful

So I take it your dogs are outside like ours are. (2 of them) :)
We went on vacation for 10 days and because we live out in the country and are fairly new to our community we didn't have anyone house sit everyday for us. (Our Son came out 2-wice to check on the property and dogs)
Anyhow... we have an auto dog feeder we bought at Wal-Mart a few years ago, we fill it up about every 2 weeks and it holds 30lbs of food.
As for the water, we bought an auto dog spicket <sp>
that you hook up to the outside water spicket. We bought that one at Home Depot. The dogs can water themselves! But while we were on vacation we 'jerry rigged' the dog waterer to drip into a bird bath layed flat on the ground. The water stayed cold because of the constant dripping. (It is still being used this way since it is so hot outside).
You can ask any sales associate at a hardware store or Pet store and they will know exactly what you are talking about.
P.S. The dogs are not in the heat all day... we have a swamp cooler in the garage and the dogs stay in there or go swimming in the pool!!

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By Rottweiler (Guest Post)
August 11, 20060 found this helpful

Consider getting a water feature.I'm not sure what it is made of, cement or something similar. (Very heavy) Since we put our water feature on the porch, my dogs prefer drinking from it, rather than their water bowls. Even if it is not switched on, the water stays cool.

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August 13, 20060 found this helpful

I'm sure if you search the Internet you can find such an item. I live in Central Florida and although my three dogs live indoors, I keep cold water in their stainless steel bowls at all times. The tap water is hot when it comes out and I know I wouldn't want to drink it! I believe dogs prefer cold water to tepid.
Good luck on your search.

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Any ideas on what works as a cool mat/surface for them? I have been pondering this problem for a while now. We have four dogs and the carpeted floors get quite hot in the summer. They love the slippery sleeping bags to lay on in the colder months...

Thank you... Have a Happy Memorial Day!

Christie from Vincentown, NJ


May 27, 20070 found this helpful

Bare floor or low-pile area rug on the north, shady side of living room. Turn floor fan on low and aim from across the room. I know it's time to turn on the window air conditioner when the dog sits right in front of the fan.

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May 18, 2009

I just want to remind all dog owners that they should have water and shelter available to their pets outside.

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