Texas Summer Must-Haves

June 22, 2023

Summer dogs

As the weather heats up all we want to do is enjoy the sunny days with our pups! To make sure that your dogs enjoy this summer as much as you do, we put together a Summer Must-Haves Checklist filled with our favorite essentials to stay cool and safe. 

Summer Must-Haves Checklist

Water bowl

Dog water bowl

Having water available is essential for your dog to stay hydrated. Water fountains on trails and water at restaurants are usually available all over Austin, but we also like to play it safe and bring our own as well. There are bottles specifically designed for doggie hydration with an attached bowl. We like the ease of the lesotc Pet Water Bottle for Dogs whose rubber bowl folds over and PupFlask Large Dog Water Bottle whose bowl flips over the side, both from Amazon. 

Shoes and paw wax 

While dogs’ feet are made to be able to walk outside, the pavement can get scorching in the summer. We recommend investing in some doggy shoes or some protecting wax to keep their paw pads safe from blistering or burning. There are many choices of shoes for your dog, and we have a few favorites. We love Qumy Dog Shoes because they are reflective, durable, and have two velcro straps per shoe to keep them secure – even after swimming in Lake Georgetown. Hcpet Breathable Dog Booties are also well-loved and durable. Both shoes can be found on Amazon and come in a variety of sizes.

We recommend having your dog wear them in the house and on walks for short amounts of time and giving them lots of treats to get them acclimated. Alternatively, a paw wax like Musher’s Secret Wax is a great organic and non-toxic way to protect those toesies. It is semi-permeable wax that is absorbed through the skin of their paws and allows them to sweat but creates a dense barrier between them and the hot pavement. It was originally created for sled dogs to protect them from the ice and snow but it works great for hot Austin summers as well. We recommend rubbing a small amount into each foot pad 3-5 times a week and letting it absorb before going outside. 

Dog sunscreen

Dog paws are not the only part of them that can burn. Doggy noses and bellies are also susceptible to the summer sun. We like the sunscreen sprays Bodhi Dog Sunscreen and Emmy’s Best Dog Sun Skin Protector Spray from Amazon and also the My Dog Nose It! Sun Protection Balm from Chewy for sensitive dogs’ snouts, ears, and bellies. Reapply every 4-6 hours to make sure your pup stays burn free. 

Cooling vests and cooling blankets 

Cooling vests are a great way to bring down the heat on hot patios and hikes. They work through evaporation, similar to how sweating cools humans. You just run the vest under cool water, wring it out, and then put it on your pup. These vests are great for all dogs to keep them comfortable, especially brachycephalic dogs, or dogs with shorter snouts, because they can’t pant as easily and can quickly get overheated. There are a few wonderful options for your pups this summer. The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler is the most expensive on our list but has some great features including 3 layer construction for better evaporation, a reflective top to block the sun, and a fit that is easy to move in and to put on. The Smartelf Dog Cooling Vest is best for medium/large dogs. It is another wet and wring-out vest and is neon orange for visibility and uses buckles for easy on and off. All for about half the price of the Ruffwear vest. The least expensive option we found is the double pack from Kyeese which have just one layer of cooling material that is thin, light, and machine washable, but may dry out much faster than the multi-layer construction vests. If wetting down the vest is an issue or if you’d like a vest that will cool for up to three days, the Suitical Dry Cooling Vest Dog is a great option. It is the most expensive vest we’ve seen but because you fill the reservoir with water instead of wetting it down, it keeps your pup and whatever they touch dry and can last for 1-3 days without needing to be refilled. It comes in 5 sizes and can fit even large dogs but it has a longer part covering the belly and may be a little heavy for small pups. 

There are a variety of different cooling mat options for dogs. Most options can be used at home, in the car, or on patios of dog-friendly restaurants and breweries. The Arf Pet Dog Cooling MatThe Green Shop Dog Cooling Mat (XS-M), and The Green Shop Dog Cooling Mat (L/XL) all use gel beads that activate when your dog steps on them. It doesn’t need to be frozen or cooled beforehand and stays cool for up to three hours (and only takes 15 minutes out of the sun with no pressure to deactivate). It can be wiped down easily and can fold for travel. The CoolerDog Dog Cooling Pad is a modular pad with ice packs you freeze. You can buy multiple to create a larger pad for bigger dogs or multiple dogs. It is great for travel and is very cooling but you have to make sure you freeze the ice packs before use and it may not be as soft as the gel pads. The Microcosmos Summer Cooling Mat is made with cooling fibers instead of gel or refrigeration and is machine washable. It is much thinner than the option but also about a quarter of the price and has hundreds of positive reviews. 

It’s going to be a hot one this summer and we want you and your pup to enjoy it! Keep your eye out for our other blog posts for a deeper dive into our favorite summer products.