10 Vet Tips to Keep Your Senior Dog Cool and Active This Summer

Author: Dr. Jeremy, Veterinarian and Co-Founder of Jope

Hey there, fellow dog lovers! I'm Dr. Jeremy, your friendly neighborhood vet, and today I'm here to help you ensure your senior dog has the best summer ever. As the temperatures rise, our older pups need a little extra care to stay comfortable, active, and healthy. So, let’s dive into some vet-approved tips and tricks to keep your best friend cool, happy, and on the move!

First and foremost, this is not a tip—it's an official order: NO DOG LEFT IN A CLOSED CAR! NEVER!

Now we can start...

1. Hydration is Key: Keep Those Bowls Full!

Yesss, we know you’re not going to let your dog go dry, and you’ve heard this a thousand times before, but it’s always important to remember—water! Just like us, dogs need plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. Make sure your senior pup always has access to fresh, cool water. Consider adding a few ice cubes to their water bowl for a refreshing treat. And don’t forget to bring a portable water bottle for your dog during walks or outings.

2. Beat the Heat with a Cooling Vest

To be honest, I didn't know about these vests until I worked in the south of France, in Marseille, for a summer a few years ago. Marseille? You can think of it as the Miami of France. Same vibes. Same heat. 

This was my first encounter with these vests—don’t blame me, this is not the first thing you learn in vet school to avoid heatstroke! But the concept looked very interesting and it seemed to work very well. 

These nifty vests are designed to keep your dog’s body temperature down, helping them stay comfortable and preventing overheating. Think of it as their very own summer superhero cape!

3. Keep Those Joints Moving with Supplements

About moving, our old pups need some joint support as they get stiff with age. They mostly slow down not because 'they are just old,' but because of their joints. Well, do me a favor and switch glucosamine for better supplements like Jope Hip & Joint Dog Chews

Yes, I’m biased since I'm the founder of the company, but I quit my practicing activity because I truly believed there was a need for better supplements—really effective ones (and studies have shown UC-II® collagen is more effective than glucosamine). With the right dosage, limited inactive ingredients, and mostly organic, we made the ideal supplements we would have wanted for our pups as vets. 

With UC-II®, EPA, DHA, and curcumin, they will help your dog not only this summer but even after. Mark my words, or enjoy our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

4. Walk Smart: Early Morning or Late Evening

This is the advice you’re going to hate me for. As you’ll need to wake up early and go to bed late—ask for a nap from your boss. Just say, "Dr. Jeremy prescribed it for me, I need to take care of my dog. She is the real boss, you know," and that should be fine (this is a joke, don’t say that).

The sun is brutal during midday, so plan your walks for early morning or late evening when it’s cooler. Not only will this protect your dog's paws from scorching pavement, but it will also reduce the risk of heatstroke. Plus, you get to enjoy those beautiful sunrises and sunsets—win-win!

5. Invest in a Quality Orthopedic Bed

And once you have kept your pup active, they should be tired (but in the good way) and will need some good rest. And you know good rest = good mattress. 

An orthopedic bed is a must for senior dogs. These beds provide the support their aging joints need, helping to alleviate pain and improve mobility. Look for one with memory foam and a washable cover—trust me, it’s worth it! Your dog will thank you with extra snuggles. And you're in the right place with Big Barker beds. Proven by science, exactly what I love. 

6. Summer Grooming: Keep It Light and Cool

Regular grooming is essential, especially in the summer. A well-groomed coat can help regulate your dog's body temperature. For breeds with thick fur, consider a lighter trim to help them stay cool. But remember, don’t shave them completely; a bit of fur helps protect against sunburn. Just imagine your dog with a fresh summer haircut—adorable! 

7. Fun in the Water

If your dog loves water, take advantage of it! Swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints. Set up a kiddie pool in the yard or visit a dog-friendly beach or lake. Just be sure to supervise your dog at all times. Watching them splash around will definitely bring a smile to your face.

8. Nutrition: Feed the Right Stuff

A balanced diet is crucial for your senior dog’s health. Opt for high-quality food tailored for older dogs, rich in essential nutrients that support joint health, like omega-3 fatty acids. And yes, supplements can be a big help too! Because even dogs deserve gourmet meals.

9. Provide Shade and Cool Spots

Always a cool moment. Whether you're in the backyard or at the park, always ensure there's a shady spot for your dog to relax. You can set up a canopy or simply find a nice tree. At home, consider a cooling mat or an elevated bed to keep your dog off the hot ground. Think of it as their personal summer oasis.

Bonus Tip: When it’s way too hot, wet some towels and place them on the floor for your dog to lie on—instant cool down!

10. Regular Vet Check-Ups

Lastly, regular vet visits are essential to keep your senior dog healthy. Your vet can provide personalized advice and check for any health issues that might need attention. Repeat after me, “My vet is my dog’s best friend”.

With these tips, your senior dog can enjoy the summer season to the fullest. Keeping them cool, hydrated, and active will not only make for a happy pup but also give you peace of mind. Here’s to a fun-filled, tail-wagging summer!

Stay cool and keep those tails wagging!


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