Pet Care Blog

Summer Essentials for Dogs: 10 Must-Have Items

Kaelee Nelson
Content Manager - Pawlicy Advisor
Dog on the beach

From hiking in the mountains to swimming at the beach, barbecuing in the backyard, and boating around the bay, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the dog days of summer with the pets you love most.

To help us all gear up for a season of fun with our canine companions, we’ve put together some of our favorite summer essential products that can keep your pup hydrated, cool, and safe when the sun is out! Don't forget to enter our Dog Days of Summer Giveaway for your chance win a prize packed with $300 worth of pet care products, some of which are featured below!

How to Enter Giveaway


1. Start every day off on the right foot (or paw!) with a delicious and nutritious meal

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so delight your dog with a delicious meal that can fuel all the fun in the sun. A balanced diet is extremely important for providing pups with all the essential nutrients they need to live long, healthy lives. We trust Petaluma Pet Food because it’s formulated by veterinarians to ensure each meal offers complete and balanced nutrients for all adult breeds.

Petaluma bag size

Pro Tip: If you have a puppy on your hands, you might need a special formula that contains nutrients such as DHA milk, as well as higher levels of fat and protein to support their growth. Talk to your vet about when it’s time to transition your little one onto an adult dog food diet.

Petaluma’s formula is organic, which can strengthen the immune system and help pets combat allergies, skin conditions, and digestive issues. The wholesome ingredients are baked for optimal nutrition at a dramatically lower cost to the environment. And, of course, dogs love the savory flavor of peanut butter and sweet potato in every bite!

2. Take a water bottle everywhere you go

Water is one of the most essential items your dog needs this summer because heat stroke is just as serious in pets as it is in humans. You can find a wide variety of options in all shapes and sizes, but remember to look for features that are dishwasher-friendly to get the most value out of your purchase.

Dog drinking from water bottle

We’re a big fan of the two-in-one foldable thermoses that double as a water container and a water bowl, allowing you to easily save whatever they don’t drink once they’ve had their fill. Translation: less waste and fewer refills. Attach it to a carabiner and clip it to your bag every time you head out the door! Always keep an eye out for the warning signs of dehydration (panting, wobbling, and dry, sticky gums) and get your dog to some shade if they need to cool down.

3. Keep them comfortable with a cooling pet pad

When it gets so hot that you wish you had a mattress cooling pad, you can rest assured your dog would love one, too! Technology has come a long way and a lot of these innovative mats use a special gel that activates under pressure to provide sweet, chilled relief. That means no water, no refrigeration, and no electricity — yay!

4. Pack some treats for on-the-go adventures

Whether it’s a road trip, day at the beach, or a camping trip excursion, make sure to pack yummy treats for your pup so that you are ready on the go. We love treats from Lick You Silly because they offer different flavors options suited to everyone’s taste: beef, chicken, and peanut butter for our vegetarian pals.

Lick You Silly dog treats

Lick You Silly treats are all-natural and made from one ingredient: 100% premium USDA beef. These savory freeze-dried snacks are super healthy, high in lean protein but low in calories and fat. The veggie Nutter Doodles are great for dogs with allergies, but you can crumble them up and use them as training treats for dogs of all ages.

5. Bring a bandana for protection, score bonus points on style

Not only do bandanas make any dog 100x cuter, but they can also help protect your pup from the harsh summer sun this season. While they’re are endless suppliers you can find online, Goodboy bandanas are cut from a different cloth - literally. They’re specifically made for durability and washability, so you know they can withstand plenty of playtime. Check out the fun, custom-print designs they have available for both large and small breeds!

6. Shield their skin with specially-formulated sunscreen

Yes, dogs can get sunburnt, too! Common ingredients found in sunscreen for humans, like zinc oxide, can react differently in dogs. It’s important to pick a product that’s made specifically for our canine companions to shield their sensitive skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Look for ultra water- and sweat-resistant products to ensure maximum protection, and remember to reapply every two to four hours during your outdoor activities. Keep in mind that any time your dog displays visible signs of sunburn — including warm, reddened, and flaking skin — it’s time to move them inside.

Golden Retriever playing with pool toy

7. Have some fun and make a splash with a pool toy

Okay, maybe this one isn’t essential — but it is a must-have for dogs who love to swim in the pool over the warm summer months. You can have a blast while strengthening your bond with a classic game of fetch in the water. From ducks to discs, the sky's the limit in terms of options, but it’s important to play with a toy that floats. You never want to encourage your dog to dive for something, nor should you ever let your pup play in the pool unsupervised.

8. Maintain tip-top shape all summer and beyond

In order for dogs to live long, active lives, it’s critical that they stay in top shape - both inside and out. It’s all about being proactive when it comes to preventing health issues, and Pawlicy Advisor knows the importance of planning ahead with pet insurance. That’s why we love Goodboy supplements. They’re a complete game-changer in terms of targeting the exact needs of your dog. Similar to how we help people compare pet insurance plans based on their animal’s unique information, their supplements are highly personalized to address pet parents’ specific issues and concerns.

Goodboy dog supplements

What’s even better, is that the soft chews are made in the USA with all-natural, high-quality ingredients. That makes them easy to administer and even tastier to eat!

9. Keep your pup feeling fresh (and so clean, clean)

Between the dog park, beach days, camping adventures, and good ol’ walks around the block, your canine companion is bound to get a little dirty. QualityPet makes it easy to stay on top of your grooming game with their unique line of natural balms.

If your dog loves a good swim, then Ear Nectar will become your new best friend. Remember to gently clean out the ears every time they get wet, and regularly check for signs of infection. The Nozzle Nectar is another superstar for healing dry dog noses that often become cracked and chapped due to UV damage caused by sun exposure. Know that the pavement gets incredibly hot when the summer sun beats down all day, and it can actually be significantly hotter to the touch than the air temperature outside. That’s why you should never go anywhere without Paw Nectar. It’s clutch for soothing, healing, and protecting damaged paw pads.

Paw Nectar application

10. Don’t go out on the water without a dog life jacket

If you bring your furry friend on boat rides or stand-up paddle boards, they should always wear a well-fitted life jacket made just for dogs. No matter how careful you may be, accidents happen, and even the strongest swimmer can be in need of a rescue. In situations like these, pet insurance can be extremely valuable.

Enter the Dog Days of Summer Giveaway

We’ve teamed up with four amazing brands to give one lucky winner $300 worth of summer pet care products to keep your pup happy and healthy all season long! To enter the giveaway contest, follow the five participating accounts on Instagram.

Follow Pawlicy Advisor


Follow Petaluma


Follow Lick You Silly


Follow Goodboy


Follow Quality Pet


Dog Days of Summer Giveaway Blog Photo

*Don't forget to like this photo on Pawlicy Advisor's page, and tag a friend in the comments for an additional entry!

Prize includes:⁣ ⁣ 🥗 18lb bag of plant-based dog food in the flavor roasted peanut butter & sweet potato flavor from Petaluma⁣ 💊 3-month supply of supplements from Goodboy ⁣ 😋 4oz freeze-dried beef liver dog treats from Lick You Silly⁣ 🍗 4oz freeze-dried savory chicken liver dog treats from Lick You Silly ⁣ 🥐 8oz nutter doodles biscuits from Lick You Silly⁣ 🐾 Paw nectar, nozzle nectar, and ear nectar from QualityPet⁣

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Kaelee Nelson

Kaelee Nelson
Content Manager - Pawlicy Advisor

Kaelee Nelson is a die-hard dog mom, part-time dog trainer, and ultimate pet enthusiast. She recently rescued a puppy named Zoey who went from the streets of Mexico to the big lights in L.A. after Kaelee helped her become officially studio-trained for production work, with the goal of strengthen her dog's confidence as well as the bond they share. Kaelee remains passionate about pets in her role as Content Marketing Manager by helping owners prepare for the financial burden that often comes with giving our furry BFFs the best care possible. Enrolling Zoey in a pet insurance policy was a no-brainer for Kaelee, as it enabled her to get reimbursed for vet costs like spaying, vaccinations, routine care, and more.

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