Photo of Golden Retriever dog playing in the creek.

Pro Tips to Beat the Heat from a Desert Rat.

by Kris Phillips

Whew! I don’t know about you but I’m already done with this heat wave! And so are my poor puppers.

As a lifelong husky-mom the extreme heat is not my favorite. I know you Colorado Natives aren’t used to this kind of soul-melting, soda-can exploding, don’t touch anything metal, paw-burning heat. But growing up in Arizona, I learned a LOT about how to get myself & my pups through even triple digit days.

Beat The Heat Tip #1: Cold Treats

Just like people, pups enjoy refreshing treats in the summer too. Your local grocer or pet supply store might have doggy ice cream.

Or it’s super easy to make your own.

I like broth cubes. Just pour your favorite broth into an ice cube tray, freeze & serve!

You can also mush up some canned food, or banana and stuff & freeze your favorite stuffable toy.

Frozen treats are also a great way to help your dog get enough water to stay hydrated in this crazy heat.


Beat The Heat Tip #2: Baby pools aren’t just for babies.

puppy in the waterWhether you pick up the $6 version at your local big box store or get a deluxe, specially made puppy pool from your favorite “everything on Earth delivered in a day” website. A dog pool is a great way to help your dog beat this sweltering Summer sun.


  • Pick one with heavy gauge plastic.
  • Keep an eye on your dog while he plays, or better yet play with him.
  • Tennis balls & dive toys make for excellent pool toys.
  • Change the water frequently. I let ours drain into the garden so we don’t waste it.

But of course, not all dogs like water :(. Last Summer I picked up a cheap baby pool for Floki, and the first time I tossed his ball into it he gave me the saddest most betrayed look. I could almost hear him thinking “why mom, why would you do that?”. And then decided he had the world’s largest drinking bowl.

But when Freki arrived and immediately began digging in his water bowl I knew we were going to have a bona fide water dog on our hands.

Beat The Heat Tip #3: Water sports

Ok, so there is definitely a theme here. We are so lucky here in Denver to have so much water nearby! Stand-Up Paddleboard is arguably the fastest growing watersport around. It’s fun, versatile, and not terribly expensive to get started. You can rent a board for around $25 and many SUP rentals allow dogs and will even provide life jackets for them. Or you can buy your own board for a few hundred dollars.

If you want to SUP with your dog:

  • Get confident SUPing on your own. Your dog will probably move around and if you’re easily thrown off balance you’ll both end up in the water A LOT. Which could lead to your dog not loving the sport.
  • Make sure your board is big enough for both of you. A SUP that’s loaded over it’s recommended capacity probably wont pop, but it will ride very low in the water and be difficult to balance and maneuver.
  • Especially while you & your dog are learning, wait for ideal conditions. Mainly when the water is still & there is little to no wind. 
  • For more tips on training your SUP Dog  

Beat The Heat Tip #4- Get Outta Town

We denizens of Denver are so lucky to have the mountains nearby. Whether for a day trip or a weekend. You just can’t beat escaping the heat all together. Heck, if you go high enough you might even be able to find snow! Or at the very least a refreshing mountain creek filled with snowmelt. 

Whatever you do…don’t let this happen to you!

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