Summer is the time of year when we look forward to camping in the woods with dogs, sitting by the campfire, sleeping under the stars, and enjoying all that nature has to offer.
But there is one major problem.
It can get really hot!
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.
I’ve rounded up ten tips for keeping dogs cool while camping in hot weather so you can take your fur friend with you on your adventures without worrying about them overheating!
1. Access to Water
One of the most imperative things you can do to keep your dog cool while camping is to make sure they have easy access to water.
While many pet owners let their dogs drink from ponds, lakes, and rivers, I wouldn’t recommend doing this. The reason is that water from these sources may be contaminated and contain harmful bacteria, parasites, and pollutants that can make your dog sick.
Read More: How to Carry Water for Dogs?
2. Use Shade to Protect Your Dog from Direct Sunlight
Dogs can get sunburned just like we can and even suffer from heatstroke if left out too long in hot temperatures. So make sure there is plenty of shade available for your dog. This can be as simple as pitching your tent in a shady spot and setting up a tarp.
3. Provide Your Dog with Cooling Beds
Investing in an outdoor dog cooling bed is also a good idea. These mats contain a special gel that can absorb your dog’s body heat and is activated as soon as your pup sits or lies down on it. Please keep in mind, though, cooling beds are not a replacement for providing water and shade. But they can be a helpful addition to keeping your dog cool while camping in hot weather!
Read More: Best Elevated Outdoor Beds for Dogs
4. Get Your Dog a Cooling Vest
If your pup doesn’t stay still on a cooling mat, consider getting them a dog cooling vest instead. These vests work by soaking up your dog’s body heat and then dissipating that heat into the surrounding air, just like how a human perspires. In fact, I’ve used this Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest, and I’m surprised how well it works!
5. Bring Battery-Powered Fan
We all know how much dogs seem to love fans, often finding them sitting right in front of these devices and enjoying the breeze, especially during the summer months. And bringing a battery-powered fan along can be an easy way to help them beat the heat and keep your dog cool while camping in hot weather!
6. Take Advantage of the Water in the Area
If you’re going camping near the lake, creek, river, or any body of water, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this! Swimming and playing in the water can surely help your dog get refreshed and stay cool. Plus, it’s a fun time for your canine, and it provides exercise too!
However, make sure to keep a close eye on them even if they can swim, and put a dog life jacket on them to ensure they are 100% safe!
7. Limit Physical Activity
Of course, one of the best activities you can do while camping with dogs is to take them on a hike.
But be careful not to overdo it by pushing your dog too hard in the heat, as this could potentially cause heatstroke and other serious health problems. Plus, they will not enjoy themselves!
Best is to exercise your pup early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s cooler.
8. Protect Your Dog's Paws From Hot Surfaces
Hot surfaces can burn your dog’s paws, which could cause discomfort, pain, and blisters! So if you plan on going hiking or trail running with your pup while camping, make sure to protect their feet.
You can either let them wear doggie hiking booties or simply apply paw waxes. These balms or waxes work by creating a barrier between the pads of your dog’s foot and the ground that will make it easier for them to walk on any terrain or surfaces without hurting or burning their paws.
Read More: 8 Ways to Protect Your Dog’s Paws!
9. Apply Sunscreen
I know this may sound weird at first, but dogs do need protection from the sun’s harmful rays too! You would need to apply sunscreen to areas most exposed to the sun, like their nose, ear tips, around the lips, groin, and belly 20 minutes before heading outside, and re-apply every four to six hours.
This will help keep them safe during outdoor activities or walks throughout the day when it’s hot. After all, protecting your pup and making sure they are safe and comfortable is what a responsible pet parent should do!
10. Consider Trimming Your Dog's Excess Fur
Imagine wearing a heavy fur coat in hot weather. Your temperature would soar, and you wouldn’t be comfortable! The same goes for your dog. So my last tip for you is to consider cutting your pooch’s hair short, as this can prevent the heat from being trapped inside. And be sure to brush your canine regularly to keep their fur clean and free of mats and tangles, as this will allow for better air circulation.