Regardless of where you live in the United States, overheating and dehydration are constant threats to your four-legged companion. You might think that you live in a fairly temperate part of the continental US, but you might want to think again. Summer can and does creep up on people, and it can turn indoor or outdoor spaces into a hot baking house.

Given the reality of climate change, pet owners really can’t bank on the fact that it simply doesn’t ‘get too hot’ in their neck of the woods. You might be making unsafe assumptions-at least as far as your pet is concerned. Temperatures all over the globe have gone nuts-as in bat crazy. Places that used to be reliably cool as ice cubes are now getting hot and even sweaty. Places that are tropical and scorching often see more than a few hailstorms come their way. Sometimes there are even snowstorms in tropical spots on the globe. Who knew?

Keep this backdrop in mind when approaching the very basic question of how to keep your dog cool in the summer. The question might be simple, but you can’t overlook it. You can’t readily dismiss it as a non-issue since it just doesn’t get ‘hot enough’ in your part of the USA. Global climate change has a way of sneaking up on people, and you wouldn’t want to find out in the worst way possible just how badly prepared you and your pet are to extreme heat.

Here are some tips that will help you cool down your dog tremendously during the summer months.

Let Your Dog Indoors or Outdoors

Depending on the temperature difference, it might be a good idea to let your pet indoors or let your pet out in the yard. Obviously, you should let your dog out to an area that is cooler. This is not always easy because it may seem like there is not much difference between your indoor and outdoor space. You might want to consider the outdoors is the better option because at least your pet can get cooled down by a nice breeze.

Make Sure Your Dog House has Open Ventilation

If you keep your dog outside in a dog house, make sure that it has plenty of open ventilation. Don’t assume that just because there is an open section in your dog’s house that air is passing through. Keep in mind that depending on the design of the doghouse, air might actually be blocked by the pressure or space inside the dog house.

Look for a design that is modular so you can disassemble parts of the doghouse to maximize the air flow. Of course, you also have to make sure that your dog remains dry and relatively cool. This is not always obvious with certain dog house designs.

Keep Your Pet Hydrated

Keep in mind that dogs do not have sweat glands. When human beings get hot, we don’t pant. We start to sweat. Dogs don’t have these glands so they pant heavily. However, things can heat up so badly that even panting is not going to give them much relief. They end up dehydrated.

Always make sure that there is plenty of water available for your pet. This way, if it’s panting heavily, it can easily refresh its body fluids to fight off the heat.

Reduce Pet Activities to Prevent Overheating

If you own a Chihuahua or any other hyperactive small breed of dog, this next advice may not seem all that practical. Still, you have to find a way to reduce your pet’s activities so it doesn’t overheat. You might have a lot of water available but if your pet is just too active, it’s only a matter of time until it ends up being dehydrated. To keep your dog cool in the summer, make sure that it stays fairly sedentary. Keeping your pet chilled out during the hot summer months can go a long way in keeping it cool and relaxed.

Schedule More Frequent Doggy Baths

When you give your four-legged pet a bath, you necessarily cool down its internal temperature. There is a limit to this though. You can’t give your dog a bath every other day because this might dry up its skin. It may also throw off the delicate oil balance in its fur. Your pet might develop all sorts of problems due to very frequent bathing.

Still, you need to establish some sort of balance between your dog’s normal bathing schedule and over bathing. By scheduling more frequent doggy baths, you cool down your dog and this also can relax your companion so it doesn’t overexert itself.

Keep Your Pet’s Area Well Shaded

If you live in a part of the country that tends to get more than its fair share of sunshine, it should be obvious to you which part of your outdoor areas you need to put some sort of shade on. This is especially true if your dog spends some time in that area. By making sure that your pet’s most frequented spots in your backyard are well-shaded, it can go a long way in keeping your canine companion cool during the hot summer months.

Keep the Fan or AC on when Your Doggy is Indoors

If it’s just scorching outside, it may be time to let your large dog indoors. Make sure you have a fan on or have the air-conditioner at the medium blast. Ideally, you should keep the AC set at a low setting while keeping your fans at high settings. This will ensure a nice flow of cold air through your home. Your dog will definitely appreciate it.

By being a bit more proactive in keeping your dog cool in the summer, both of you will benefit. Not only would your dog be more relaxed and healthier, the resulting lack of pet-related drama can also do you quite a bit of good. The weather has been acting crazy lately. Beware of its mood swings and protect your pet’s health and well-being accordingly.