Must-Have Summer Essentials For Puppies

6 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
June 07, 2024

A small dog wearing red sunglasses floating on a yellow boogie board

The hot dogs and hamburgers are on the grill, the potato salad is almost all gone, and the kids have watermelon juice all over their faces. The steams of water from the sprinkler shimmer in the late afternoon sunlight, and the uncles are in the pool tossing children screaming with glee. Your puppy is beside himself with excitement, frolicking in the green grass while trying to “eat” the water from the sprinkler. 

Summertime is here! This may be your first summer with your puppy, and you can’t wait to share all the amazing opportunities this season brings. You’re excited but would like guidance on which essential summer gear for puppies you may want to consider.

Whether you’re going for a relaxed vibe at a weekend lake house, a dog-friendly festival, or a rigorous backcountry adventure, be prepared with must-have summer essentials for puppies

Prepare for Summer Fun With Your Puppy

Before jumping into the pool of activities, take some time to get prepared before you go on summer adventures with your puppy. Your veterinarian and groomer are members of your team to get your puppy ready to go. 

  • Protect your puppy’s identity by getting him microchipped with updated information, and provide a collar with your name and number in case your puppy is separated from you. You may even consider a GPS tracking device. 
  • Make sure he is up to date on core puppy vaccinations and is ready to interact with the outside world safely. Ask your vet about the risk of rabies, Lyme disease, and other conditions transmitted by animals, parasites, bacteria, and more. 
  • Keep your puppy current on flea, tick, and heartworm medications. 
  • Have enough refills of medications if your puppy takes any. 

Take your puppy to the groomer for a shorter summer cut if his dog breed requires haircuts. You may be tempted to think your double-coated dog must be hot under all that fur. Never shave a double-coated dog, as their inner and outer coats work together to create an air conditioning system. 

The Best Summer Gear For Your Puppy 

Your puppy is up to date on shots, has a dapper summer cut, and is cleared for travel according to your veterinarian. Here are our recommendations for summer gear for dogs to make this the best summer ever!

Choose the right leash and harness

Selecting the right leash for your puppy is a personal choice based on a few factors, such as how long you want the leash, how strong you need it, if you want a retractable one or one length, and your puppy’s ability to follow commands. Some places require leashes no more than six feet long, while others require you to use any type of leash with your puppy as long as they are secured. 

The best harness for your puppy is the one that is size-appropriate and considers their training level. Is your big puppy a puller that bolts, dragging you behind? Will you be going on nighttime adventures and need something visible? Do they need extra work on their recall command? Now is also a great time to see if your puppy has outgrown the itty bitty harness that fit just a few months ago. If you are going on hikes or out for an extended period, consider a special puppy backpacking harness with weight limits designed for your pup to carry some of his own gear and supplies. 

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KONG Retractable Explore Reflective Retractable Dog Leash

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Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack

Puppy life jackets 

If you’re going to be near water exceeding a paws-deep level, you should consider life jackets for puppies. Personal flotation devices for dogs keep your puppy afloat in open water, saving their energy and providing buoyancy. Dogs with snub noses like English Bulldogs need a lifejacket due to breathing issues, but wearing one is a smart idea for all dogs, whether swimming in a pool or the middle of a large lake. You can even get funny ones that have a shark fin.

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Frisco Shark Life Jacket

Travel in style safely 

None of us would hesitate to secure a toddler in a moving vehicle, but what about your puppy? However, attitudes and intentions don’t always align with what we practice. One study found four out of five respondents (83%) think having an unrestrained puppy while driving can be dangerous, but only 16% of puppy owners actually secure their dog in a moving vehicle. Beat the statistics and choose a proper dog restraint for car rides on your adventures. 

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VavoPaw Dog Vehicle Safety Vest & Harness

Keep your puppy cool

Scorching temperatures require precautions to keep your puppy cool this summer. Ground temperatures can heat up hotter than the temperature in the air, so consider that when walking your puppy on hot surfaces. Provide outdoor shade in your yard for protection from the sun beating down. Learn to recognize the signs of dehydration in puppies and act quickly. Here are products to help your puppy beat the heat. 

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Hipaw Summer Breathable Paw Protector Dog Boots

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Waterproof Dog Shade Shelter

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Prima Pets Collapsible Silicone Travel Dog & Cat Bowl with Carabiner

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The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad

Sunscreen for dogs

Did you know some dog breeds require sunscreen? They may have sensitive skin, thin or no fur, light-colored noses, or other circumstances where sunscreen is needed to protect them from negative effects of the sun, like canine solar dermatitis or even skin cancer. 

Ask your veterinarian or read reviews on sunscreen for dogs to choose the correct product for your puppy. Regardless of your choice, look for a waterproof formula made with unscented, non-toxic, pet-safe ingredients, an SPF of 30 or higher, and ease of application.

To reduce the chances of sunburn even further, consider a sunhat or a light, breathable sunshirt made for dogs. Here are some dog breeds that may need sunscreen: 

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EBPP Dog Sunscreen Sun Skin Protector Spray

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Louie de Coton® Cooling Sun Shirt with UPF50+ Sun Protection

Have Fun in the Sun With a Pawrade Puppy

If you dream of eating pupsicles and splashing around in a creek but need a four-legged buddy, Pawrade is here for you. We offer a huge variety of available puppies for sale, from tiny Yorkies to giant Great Dane puppies. All of our puppies are from our reputable breeder partners and come with a 3-year health guarantee, a health certificate, 30 days of MetLife insurance, and other goodies provided. We can’t wait to hear from you! 

*Paid partnership with our friends at Chewy and Amazon


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Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

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