In the UK, we take summer seriously. It’s dark and dreary all winter (and most of spring), so when June rolls around we’re more than ready to catch some rays with our friends, families, and of course, our dogs. From hiking in the mountains to swimming at the beach to barbecuing in the park, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this summer with the people and pets you love most.
To help us all gear up for a season of carefree fun with our canine companions, we asked dog trainer Nicole Ellis for her take on must-have pet products for the summer. She says that many of these aren’t on dog owners’ lists, but should be.
There are few things dogs enjoy more than playing fetch with their favourite person. Bringing a ball launcher and a tennis ball with you to the park or the beach is a fantastic way to bond with your dog and give him the exercise he needs to stay healthy.
And bonus: you get to hang out with your dog in the sun! With this simple contraption, your dog can enjoy hours of playing fetch without tiring out your arm or ever having to pick up a slobbery ball.
This one is practical. Summer naturally leads to more outdoor activities and more outdoor activities naturally lead to more dirt. Keep this Kurgo pet towel in your car for wiping down your dog’s paws before you head home from your latest summer excursion. It comes with a carabiner you can attach to a headrest and is machine-washable.
Your dog loves the sun but not the burn that comes from too much exposure. His nose is particularly vulnerable since it’s not covered with fur, so applying some sun protection before venturing outside is a good idea.
This trio of SPF 15 sunscreens have a non-greasy formula, a luxurious coconut and vanilla scent, and are non-sticky. Depending on your dog’s coat, you may also want to apply it to their ears, belly, and any other exposed skin.
I love that these wipes are made from sustainably harvested bamboo. With soothing aloe vera and Vitamin E, they’re easy on your dog’s skin but also help to remove dirt from their coat. During this sunny time of year when you’re spending more time outside together, it’s nice to let your dog run wild and free in the dirt knowing you can give him a quick wipe down before going back inside.
Just like you, your dog’s eye health depends in part on UV protection. Also, he’ll look adorable in these sweet shades. These are great for long car rides if your dog likes to keep his head out the window as well as long walks or hikes. Please note that these doggy sunglasses are meant for medium or large sized dogs.
From the same brilliant minds who delivered the classic treat-filled, RSPCA-approved KONG toys, this little guy features a sturdy centre panel that stands up to vigorous thrashing. With a rattle sound and a squeaker, this toy is great for keeping your dog entertained while you’re having a summer picnic.
First of all, this is the octopus I’ve ever seen. Second of all, he’s a perfect pool pal for your dog so if your pup loves a good swim, this is the toy for them: it easily floats in water and is 100% machine washable—just make sure to air dry!
Keeping your dog cool in the summer is definitely something to keep your eye on. Dogs tend to overheat in the sun, especially when they’re active. Use this cooling vest to keep your dog comfortable while they’re playing for long hours in the heat. Dunk it in cool water before putting it on your dog, and the three-layer system will keep his skin cool while reflecting heat away from his body.
Here’s another fun way to keep your pup cool and comfortable this summer. Dog pools turn your back garden into a canine water park and/or spa. Your dog can lounge in the cool water or playfully splash around—either way, he’s staying cool and that’s very important during the summer. You can also use it for giving your dog an outdoor bath.
This one’s nice and deep and will allow even the largest of dogs to cool down comfortably. It’s also incredibly compact when folded up so you can take it with you on your travels.
If you like to run, hike, or walk with your dog, this is a practical, hands-free bag. You can store a couple of poop bags, some treats, your phone, and house keys in there while out for a jaunt with your pup. The elastic waistband is comfortable and works well for running.
There are a lot of great dog beds out there, but most aren’t practical for camping. This bed designed by Ruffwear for outdoor activities provides some cushion and warmth but is also easy to store and clean. You can stuff the bed into the included duffel bag and wipe it down with a towel.
Oh, fleas. The bane of a dog’s existence. There’s a slew of products for fighting fleas, but I recommend keeping this 100% natural flea spray on hand for regular prevention. Pets Purest uses natural ingredients to kill fleas and ticks, all of which are safe for dogs and people.
- 10 Best Pools to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
- 7 Best Cooling Products for Dogs
- Hot Weather Dogs: Tips for Keeping Your Canine Cool
Featured image: Ruffwear Cooling Jacket