With summer in full swing here in Illinois, the weather is just HOT.. like all the time. Like most dog owners, we try to schedule walks and exercise for our dogs during the coolest parts of the day, usually in the early mornings or evenings when the pavement isn’t so hot and the sun isn’t beating down on us all. But what about all those hours in between? How do we keep all these dogs entertained and cool during the hotter parts of the day?

Air Conditioning in their kennel building has been an excellent way to keep the furry swarm cooler during the days. Lately we have had heat indexes in the 100+ temperatures so the AC unit has been a lifesaver on those days.  But just sitting in the AC all day in their kennels is quite boring and that means unhappy doggos who look for ways to entertain themselves. That is when the barking starts.


Frozen Kongs

We keep a couple dozen Kongs in various sizes available and fill them with treats, bits of fruits and veggies, kibble etc and then add either plain Greek yogurt or some peanut butter to them. Pop those in the freezer for a couple of hours and we have a great frozen treat to help keep the dogs busy when it is too hot to go outside and play. It typically takes our dogs 30-45 minutes to finish off the goodies in a frozen Kong. By that time they are ready for a nap.

Kiddie Pools and Sprinklers

We also have a couple of large kiddie pools from Walmart that we fill with cold water in the afternoons so the dogs can plop in them when they get too warm. This is fun for them on the afternoons when they need to get out and run but it’s still really warm. Often we see them running in circles in the pools with their faces in the water before lying down for a cooling dip.  Sprinklers are also a hit in the afternoons. Our younger dogs love to run through the spray or try to catch it in their mouths.  


Plenty of Water should be available at all times if your dog is outside when it is hot. This allows them to stay hydrated.


 Cooling Mats are another great idea. Especially in those kennels or homes that do not have air conditioning, a cooling mat is a low cost way to help your furry friend beat the heat.  We recommend the Chillz Cooling Mat as it needs to water, refrigeration or electricity to work. You can find this and other cooling mats on Amazon.com or Chewy.com with a quick search.


Swimming is another summertime favorite activity for several of our dogs. We allow them to swim in our pool with supervision and Ellie and Eve especially LOVE the water. You could also allow your dogs to swim in a local lake or pond so long as you are careful to avoid places where algae blooms could cause them to become ill. As with any activity, moderation is key though and we never let our pups swim unsupervised or in areas we are not sure are totally safe.