For any dog owner, one of the best things to do on a weekend is grab your pup in the backseat of your car and take a day trip to the beach, the park or even just out for a walk someplace new. Our furry friends love being outdoors and running around in the fresh air just as much as we do, and the summer time is the best (and possibly worse) time to do this.

As much as we enjoy having out pets by our side during our summer weekends, it’s absolutely crucial to make sure they stay safe during the scorching summer heat. For those who live in mostly hot states, such as Florida, Arizona and Texas where the temperatures easily reach up to at least 100 degrees, it’s extremely important to take every precaution to keep your dog cool and hydrated if you do take them outside for a little while.

Take a look at a few tips we rounded up for keeping your pet cool and comfortable in the summer.

Keep them in a shaded area
Whether you’re at the pool or the park, try to keep your pup in a shady area and out of the hot sun. This will help keep their body temperature down and avoid them getting over heated.

Keep plenty of ice-cold water around
Pets, just like humans, get thirsty and dehydrated. What do we look for when we are thirsty – a nice glass of cold water, of course. Our pets are no different. Keep ice cold water nearby if possible and keep them drinking frequently throughout the day. Check your pet store for collapsible bowls and travel water bottles. Some dogs like to eat the ice too!

Let them swim in a pool
Put your pet in the pool! Most dogs are able to swim on their own, with a floatation vest or with your help. You can buy a flotation vest from most pet stores and they are usually inexpensive. You could also purchase a plastic “kiddie pool” for your pet!

Keep the air conditioning on during the car ride
When in the car on your way to your destination, keep the cold AC blowing on your pup. This will help them stay cool and comfortable. Keeping the window down my still cause them to overheat due to the scorching summer temperatures.

Keep them indoors!
Last, but not least, the best way to protect your pet from the summer heat is to just keep them inside as much as possible. Don’t let them run around in the yard during the afternoon if you don’t have to!

Check out special products
For extra ways to cool off your dog, consider buying helpful products like doggie ice packs, a misting spray bottle, sunglasses and sunscreen made for dogs, and more.

Do you have any tips for protecting your pet from the summer heat? Tell us about it!