A quick inquiry on Facebook and an online search turns up more than a dozen products designed to help keep your dog cool when the temperature rises. A few that can be used before, during or after outdoor activities are highlighted below. (Websites are provided, but you can find many in stores, too).
Remember: None replaces common sense. Know the early signs of heat exhaustion in dogs, such as heavy panting, restlessness or a “belled-out” tongue, and get your dog cool and inside before it gets worse. As with people, it can be best to exercise your dog in the morning or evening hours, make use of shady areas and have plenty of water available.
KoolCollar is a hollow collar filled with a cooling gel tube for indoor use or ice cubes for outside. “One of my dogs in particular has trouble in the heat,” says Gretchen Meyer. “I’ve found that by using the KoolCollar with him, he easily keeps up with me and another one of my dogs on our morning walk/runs.” ($16-$18; koolcollar4dogs.com)
Ruffwear swamp coolers use evaporative cooling to draw out body heat. Soak the vestlike product in cold water and wring it out before putting it on your dog. ($54.95; ruffwear.com). Kool Koat is another popular brand. ($33-$85; pettemp.com)
Pads such as the K9 Cooling Mat ($49.95) and the Cool Bed Lounger ($79.95) provide a cool surface on which your dog can recline. For instant shade, you can pop up the Portable Pet Cooling System ($169), a water-charged bed with a tent that all folds up to fit in a carrying case. (All at inthecompanyofdogs.com.)
And you can always just get your dog wet all over. Let him dunk in the water while walking at the beach, or fill a baby pool in your backyard. “Not very high-tech, but they are happy with it,” says dog owner Pat Bancroft.