It is essential that you keep fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times. In hot weather, this is even more crucial. Make sure you keep the water dish in a shady location and change the water frequently.
To constantly keep fresh water available outdoors, consider installing a watering system that hooks up to a faucet. These are designed to provide water as needed and are usually triggered by motion or a specific action.
If you go to the park or somewhere else with your dog, take along as much water for it as you do for yourself so you both stay hydrated. In addition to water, you can try feeding your dog some home made chilled treats.
Shelter from the Sun
Your dog might enjoy a little sunbathing, but it ultimately needs a cool, shady spot to relax. Prolonged sun exposure not only leads to heat exhaustion, but it can also cause sunburn. Yes, dogs can get sunburned too.
While sunscreen is available for dogs, it does not protect them from heat stroke. The best thing is to offer shelter. Shade from trees is nice, but it's not perfect either. An actual structure is better. Consider getting an insulated dog house, but make sure it is large and well-ventilated. Alternatively, you might put up an open-air tent or canopy. The addition of a fan will help cool things down further. If possible, put the shelter in a shady area to keep it extra-cool.
Of course, the ideal shelter is your home. If possible, install a doggie door to allow indoor access.
If your dog loves water, then a large tub or kiddie pool (molded plastic, not inflatable so nails can't pop it) might be a great addition to your yard. You can find inexpensive tubs or pools at most home stores.
Many dogs enjoy playing and lounging in the cool water. Just make sure you supervise your dog at all times. Keep the pool in a shady spot and change the water frequently. Do not leave the pool full when not in use, as it may attract mosquitos.
Instead of a pool, you might also try running a sprinkler to see if your dog likes it. However, most dogs prefer a pool to a sprinkler.
Cooling a Dog Bed
Your dog's need for a cool, shady place to relax extends into the house. While a dog bed is nice and soft, it might also be too warm. That is why many people notice that their dogs prefer to lie on tile or concrete floors when it's hot out.
A cooling dog bed can offer the comfort and softness of a typical dog bed with the coolness your dog craves. These beds often use a gel-like material or water to keep the temperature nice and cool. They are especially great for senior dogs as an alternative to hard floors.
There are several other products designed to cool off your dog. Some work better than others, and often it just depends on the dog. If you decide to try one out, just remember that nothing can replace fresh water and shade. No dog should go for long without plenty of both.
One common mistake people make is to take their dog for a walk in the heat. Pavement gets very hot under the summer sun and can easily burn the pads of your dog's feet. If it's too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it's far too hot for your dog. Take your summertime walks in a grassy park or, at the least, direct your dog to walk on the grass next to the sidewalk.
Cooler air is the best way to prevent and relieve overheating in your dog. No matter how you try to keep your dog cool, the best thing you can do is to keep a close eye on it. When in doubt, get the dog to a cooler area. Never leave your dog in the car unattended. Be sure to contact your vet immediately if you notice signs of heatstroke.
Chilled dog treat recipes:
4 cups plain yogurt, low or fat free
1 ripe banana
1 cup of blueberries
3 tbsp peanut butter, natural and salt free is preferred
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir all of the ingredients together into a medium bowl.
Pour into a blender, and puree until smooth.
Pour the smoothie into ice cube trays and freeze.
Storing - This recipe for dog treats, if frozen into smoothie pops, will last for 6 months or more in the freezer. You can keep the smoothie in it's liquid form, but keep it refrigerated for about a week.
Yield - Using a 1/2 inch ice cube tray, you will make 32 PB & J Smoothie dog treats.
Pumpkin ice cream:
1 (1 oz) Natural Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (see note below)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk, low or fat free
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Whisk the vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk together until dissolved. Approximately 2 minutes.
Fold, or gently stir in the pumpkin puree.
Scoop pumpkin pudding into small paper cups, small plastic cups, or a plastic Popsicle mold.
Place in freezer, and let freeze completely, about 3 hours.
Take out desired serving size and let sit on counter for 5 minutes. Then release from the mold and serve.
Storing - If frozen, this dog ice cream recipe will last for 3 months. If kept in the refrigerator, as a pudding, it will keep fresh for one week.
Hope this helps.