Must-Have Items Dog Owners Need for This Summer!
I am a dog lover, and I love all the enjoyable activities summer comes with. I have two dogs- Bear and Bailey, and I don’t like them being left out of all the fun. They are always with me everywhere.
But summer also comes with strong heat waves, and I get how my dogs can suffer. That’s why I always have several items on my summer list for them. They are handy for my dogs to stay safe and have fun too. Whether you want things to know your dog’s whereabouts, cool your dog, or help your pup relax, I have got you covered.
Below is a list of my dogs’ summer essentials.
A pet tracker is a must-have gadget for your dog. It is the first step to ensure that your dog is safe as you can know its whereabouts. There are many pet trackers in the market, but I highly recommend getting one from Whistle.com. Their pet trackers do more than just show you your dog’s location. They double as fitness /activity trackers, and you can see if your dog is getting enough exercise.
These trackers have also helped me feed my dogs since they have a feature to let me know how many calories my dogs are burning.
Bear is particularly sneaky and jumpy, but I am always at peace with my Whistle pet tracker because I get alerts when he is on the move. Even in the dark, I can easily find my dogs because of the built-in light bulbs on the trackers, which I can turn through my mobile phone. I can even adjust the light to flash fast, slowly, or remain on continuously.
The Whistle pet trackers also help me monitor my dogs’ habits and activities which is usually hard for me, to be honest. I can get alerts with the trackers once they notice significant differences like more extended sleeping times, scratching, licking, and drinking. A change in these traits can be an important health marker and even help you with disease detection.
I also particularly appreciate the virtual vet access my Whistle trackers give if I want to know if something my dogs may have eaten or pooped is a big deal or not.
Dog DNA Test Kit
My two dogs are of different breeds. Bear is a Golden Retriever, while Bailey is a Havanese. Each of my dogs has specific traits (physical and behavioral), and their eating habits are also different.
I noticed that they need customized care but never knew was because of their genetic makeup. Everyone in the house can now care better for our dogs because we understand how different they are, thanks to our dog DNA test kits from WisdomPanel.com.
Understanding my dogs’ DNA is one of the greatest lessons I have learned about pet care. Through the DNA test kits, I have discovered my dogs’ breed ancestry. Since I know their predispositions, I now know my dogs’ medical complications and reactions. My veterinarian consults are now more manageable.
I also now know their ideal weight ranges and how I can maintain healthy weights for them. In addition, I know the physical traits they may possess upon full maturity. I currently understand why Bear will shed excessively during spring and why Bailey rarely sheds.
To test your dog with the Wisdom Panel DNA test kit, you only have to use the swabs and take a sample from your dog’s mouth and mail it off. Wisdom Panel avails results within three weeks
A dog cooling mat comes in handy for every dog during hot weather. It gives your dog a comfortable surface to relax, whether indoors or outdoors.
I mostly use cooling mats for my dogs outdoors since I have a house cooling system. These cooling mats are made to bring a cooling effect that the dog activates through its body contact.
The best thing about a cooling mat is that it does not need any electricity or pre-cooling to help regulate your dog’s body temperature. What you need to do is place it in the shade and let the dog lie on it. My cooling mats have two sections which are made to prevent the gel from oozing out.
You can use a cooling mat as a waterproof bed for your dog by placing it where your dog sleeps. When it gets dirty or wet, you only need to wipe it to clean.
Most cooling mats are made in such a way that they are foldable. That makes them perfect for taking anywhere.
A Life Jacket
A dog’s life jacket is something you cannot miss. Dogs are natural water lovers, so have one for your dog, whether you are going to the beach, staying in the pool, or going for a water adventure. You need a life jacket for your dog, especially if your dog will be going swimming. It will keep your dog safe in the waves- it keeps the dog’s head above water and boosts his or her confidence while having fun.
Most dogs often swim using their front legs if they are unsure in the water, which can make them tire quickly. But a life jacket will keep your dog buoyant on the water’s surface and still encourage your pup to use all legs to swim. You will even be at peace as you won’t have to worry much about your dog’s safety.
A life jacket with handles on its back helps you get your dog in and out of the water. But do you know a dog’s life jacket is also helpful for keeping your dog’s spine parallel?
Remember to get the right size for your dog. Your pup should be able to walk, jump, run, and most importantly, breathe easily in the life jacket.
Like I have sunglasses everywhere during summer, I feel my dogs deserve them too for protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Apart from making your dog cooler and more adorable than the other dogs, doggie sunglasses are also practical items for protecting your dog’s eye vision.
Some dogs have high eye sensitivity, and a sunny day can cause them too much discomfort. Some dog breeds are at a greater risk of developing eye problems than others, and your dog might be one of them.
Doggie glasses will also protect your dog from injuries and ocular trauma. For example, Shih Tzus and pugs have more prominent eyeballs, and they may be more susceptible to abrasions or cuts. Your German Shepherd may also have chronic superficial keratitis. Sun exposure can worsen the disorder, and it can even lead to your dog’s blindness.
Ideal protective eyewear will also prevent your dog’s eyes from foreign bodies like small stones, plants, and other irritants.
Just like you will be protecting your skin with clothes, your dog needs that too. You must get your dog’s ideal clothing. Like I have dog wear for winter, I make sure my dogs also have summer wear. You can get your dog a hat, t-shirt, or a cooling bandana.
As you are getting your dog summer wear, you should be looking to protect your dog from the high temperatures, UV rays, and heat on hot pavements.
Some dog breeds like huskies do not do well in scorching weather. The same goes for young puppies and dogs with short hair. For such dogs, summer clothes will add extra protection. Clothing your dog will also help your dog stay clean when they are out in places with a lot of sand, grass, or other dirt.
Don’t just get any wear for your dog. I get my dogs playful wear to suit their characters. Like you put thought into getting that beach hat or cover-up, do the same for your dog. Get the right size and fit, and most importantly, consider comfortable material.
You can get summer clothing for your dog specially designed as anti-UV ray clothing. Don’t forget to look for additional features like how easy the cloth is to put on and remove. In addition, pay attention to dangerous accessories that can harm your dog, such as swallowing or choking hazards like buttons.
An Elevated Dog Bed
An elevated dog bed keeps your dog cooler during summer, whether you use it indoors or outdoors. If the floor underneath your dog is soft, for example, with a carpet, it can trap a lot of heat, especially if you live in a sweltering climate. Again, placing the elevated bed over a cool surface like concrete or tile can cool your dog more.
Most elevated dog beds are light and easy to move, so you can take your dog’s bed when you are going on holiday. You can always get an elevated dog bed that is easy to assemble and disassemble. You can hose off the dirt in case of any dirt from outside use.
What’s more, elevated dog beds can keep your dog away from the pesky fleas usually outside.
But it would be best if you also used a flea-preventative since the dog can lift the flees to the bed. Most elevated dog beds are made with a mesh to let hair or dirt fall off. Your dog stays in a cleaner bed, which can also reduce allergens around your environment.
Elevated dog beds are also excellent for your dog’s orthopedic support. They provide firm and even support for your dog. This dog bed is the difference between your dog sleeping on a beanbag chair. Your dog rests and wakes up without feeling stiff.
Elevated dog beds are particularly beneficial for dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis, or joint problems. They relieve the pressure that traditional puffy dog beds put on a dog’s elbows, shoulders, or hips.
These beds are cushiony and are not stuffed like the typical dog beds. It will be very difficult for your dog to “unstuff” the bed and eat the stuffing, preventing gastrointestinal obstruction.
You know the way you have sunscreen in your bag all the time during summer for protection? Your dog deserves protection from harmful UV rays too. Dogs can get sunburned too, regardless of how much fur they have. Remember, they have delicate body parts with little hair around their ears, tail, nose, bellies, etc.
You can get a variety of dog sunscreens in the market. They come in the form of sprays or sticks. I don’t recommend directly spraying sunscreen on your dog. It may get into your dog’s eyes, or the dog may inhale it. When you want to apply sunscreen, spray it on your palms and rub it on the dog just like you would with a sunscreen stick. Remember to reapply the sunscreen regularly throughout the day and try to prevent your dog from licking or rubbing it off.
Check for an ideal Sun Protection Factor (SPF) too, like you do when purchasing your sunscreen. You should be careful not to use sunscreen with zinc oxide since it is harmful to dogs. Zinc oxide can bring about anemia for your dog. In addition, avoid sunscreens containing salicylates and Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). You can seek help from a veterinarian to find FDA-approved sunscreens for your dog.
To ensure that your dog’s sunscreen is safe to use, always do a test on a small part. You should know that human sunscreen versions can harm your dog upon ingestion.
Paw Soother or Balm
If there is one thing I know is that summer heat can be vicious to dogs, especially on their paws. My dog Bailey is particularly sensitive, and her paws can get cracked after walks in the sun. Before I figured this out, I always took her to the pet veterinarian, and that’s when she told me it was from the heat. The vet recommended I get her a paw soother which I did. I don’t just use it on Bailey. I use it on Bear too.
You need a palm soother or balm for your dog to soothe, protect, and heal him or her right up.
The soother eliminates excessive itching and licking and relieves inflammation and redness. It also moisturizes, keeping your dog’s paws healthy and nourished.
A paw balm or soother also alleviates your dog’s discomfort due to hairy paws (dog paw hyperkeratosis). A dog with this condition has thick and cracked paws.
Most sellers even have soothers and balms with natural or organic healing ingredients like vitamin E, shea butter, and coconut oil. Ensure that the soother or balm you get is non-toxic and dog-safe since your dog may keep licking it off.
I always give my dogs a treat after application to distract them from licking the soother before it can function and make the experience more positive. Some dog balms may have a lot of oil, making the paws very slippery, so apply the recommended amount. Some of the best times to apply are before your dog’s bedtime.
There is nothing my dogs love more than being in the water. During summer, this urge even goes up. That’s why I decided to get them dog pools.
If you have one, you know how much a dog pool is a necessity, but if you don’t, it’s time you get one for your dog. Like you get in the water to relieve yourself from the heat, dogs need that too.
I usually have my dogs’ pools in my backyard or next to my pool during summer. Our dogs can get in theirs when we are in the pool. It is usually a way for us to bond. I even use my dog pools for bathing my dogs.
If you are good at DIYs, you can build your dog’s pool yourself, but if not, they are always available in pet stores. You can get a collapsible or an inflatable dog pool. They also come in different sizes, and you can always get the right size that fits your dog correctly, whether it is a 100-pound Labrador or a Chihuahua.
Always get dog pools designed for dogs and not use kiddy pools because they are more robust and durable. Kiddy pools may break more quickly, and if your dog claws a hole or chews the pool, you have to replace it.
When summer’s bright and sunny days come knocking, we mostly want to enjoy them fully. We put a lot of effort into making the weather comfortable for us. We want to look good while protecting ourselves.
But most of us do not realize that our furry companions need that too. They may have a hard time looking after themselves, keeping cool, and protecting themselves. We must do the job for them.
If you want you and your pup to be happy over summer, get the items I have recommended above for your dog. You will be glad you did. Some of these items are even practical for everyday use. What else could you ask for?