With summer quickly approaching, there are plenty of ways to prepare to keep your four-legged friend happy, entertained, and cool in the warm months ahead.

Granted some dogs, like Shiba Inus may not be the Michael Phelps of the dog kingdom - it's always fun to try and include them in some refreshing water activities.

Shiba inu dog jumping in water

Even lazily lounging afloat in a pool can be a fun activity for your otherwise land locked Shiba Inu.

And, as always, it’s important to remember about safety during the summer months. It’s vital to keep your dog hydrated and cool!

Pool Toys For Dogs

If you have a pool, wow luck you! 

Believe it or not, there are a variety of pool toys especially made for dogs (and please remember to always supervise your pup in the pool, even if they know how to swim.)

One of the most popular is a dog float, which are sturdy enough to support the weight of your canine companion and safely keep them afloat.

While you may be tempted to simply plop your pooch on a human-grade float, beware!

Dog floats are generally made of a thicker, more durable material (to account for the fact that dog claws can be pretty sharp). 

The Swimways Pool Float is a great option, as it’s tough enough to withstand doggy nails but lightweight enough to float steadily on the water.

This float can easily accommodate one or maybe two Shiba Inus with a total weight limit of 65 pounds.

Not all dogs will be crazy about the idea of hanging out on a pool float, though, as the slight waves and sensation of feeling “unsteady” may make them nervous.

If this is the case, don’t force them!

There are plenty of other ways your dog can have fun in the water during the hot, summer months.

Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest w/ Fin

The Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest w/ Fin is both functional and hilarious.

Even lazy Shiba Inus can enjoy some water activities with the help of this shark-finned dog life vest.

Made out of strong, durable material - the Swimways life vest is perfect for days out at the pool, beach, and lake. 

For most Shiba Inus, the medium sized vest is a good fit. Smaller Shiba Inus may fit better in the small size.

Check the latest price of the Swimways Sea Squirts Dog Life Vest here.

Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride

The Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float Floatie Ride is just the float you need to make Shiba Inu photo ops a blast.

The float is made out of thick, durable, phthalate-free material and can hold up to 400 pounds of adult or dogs!

Equipped with quick-inflate rapid valves, you'll have fun with your dogs and unicorn float in no time.

But remember, don't leave either humans or dogs unattended in open water.

Check the latest price of the Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn Pool floatie here.

All for Paws Chill Out Floating TPR Shark

The All for Paws Chill Out Floating TPR Shark is floating water toy that swimming dogs will love.

Made out of non-toxic rubber, this squeaking shark dog water toy can withstand the abuses of moderate chewers.

However, strong chewers will be able to show this shark that dogs have big bites too.

Check the latest price of the All For Paws Chill Out Floating TPR Shark here.

Fetching Toys

There are a ton of toys on the market that are especially made to be used in the water and / or wet settings.

While a regular old stick (or regular old dog toy) will likely sink, there are toys on the market that are made to float and provide hours and hours of fetching fun.

shiba inu dog fetching stick in lake water

Look for a toy that your dog can easily hold in his mouth, that doesn’t weigh too much, and that won’t get moldy (lots of toys are made to withstand the bacteria of pool water, ocean water, and lake water).

Most adult Shiba Inus are not the biggest of fetching enthusiasts so try to make fetching more enticing by adding their favorite treats into the toy.

One good option is the Aqua Kong. If your dog has a regular Kong they’ll likely take to this toy right away.

It floats, it’s familiar, and it’s fun!

ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy

The ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy is another great feching toy for fun in the water.

It's made to float very high and the knotted rope attachment makes it easy to bite and carry when wet.

The small size is great for Shiba Inus.

Not for chewers! Don't get this if your pup is a chewer as it may not hold up too long if excessively chewed.

For water play though, it's great!

Check the latest price of the ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy here.

Ruffwear - Hover Craft Flying Disc for Dogs

The Ruffwear - Hover Craft Flying Disc for Dogs is the perfect alternative to a traditional frisbee.

While frisbees are made out of hard plastic, the Hover craft is constructed out a softer foam core that is much easier on dog's mouths.

The Hover Craft flies great and also floats. Reflective trim makes the disc easy to see in the water.

I've always wanted a frisbee dog, but my Shibas never took to having hard plastics flung in their face.

With the Hover Craft, I successfully trained one of my Shibas to be a flying disc connoisseur!

Check the latest price of the Ruffwear Hover Craft Flying Disc For Dogs here

Dog Pools

If you don’t have a full-sized pool at your house, or are uncomfortable with letting your dog swim in it, a great option to consider are dog pools.

These pools are typically the size of toddler pools but are made of more durable material (dog claws and the potential for digging mean that these pools need to be made of strong stuff!)

Look for a brand that’s big enough for your pooch, is easily stored (preferably one that folds up), and is durable enough to last more than just one summer.

The FrontPet Foldable Dog Pool is great because its big enough for your pooch (and potentially you, as well) to hang out in when the weather gets hot.

It’s also made of super touch PVC material and includes an easy to use drain

Sprinklers

An outdoor sprinkler is a great way for your pup to have fun in the sun!

While there are dog-specific sprinklers on the market, we find that simple sprinkler that’s made for humans is just as good (if not better!)

Let your dog run through the cool water and chill out during those hot summer days! Better yet, get in there with them!

A Word About Safety

While summer time brings a ton of fun in the sun, the hot weather can be very dangerous to dogs if we don’t take proper precautions.

This is especially true for short nosed breeds, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus, whose short noses make it difficult for them to pant and effectively regulate their body temperature.

These types of dogs shouldn’t spend any extended periods of time outdoors during the hot weather.

Dogs don’t know when to slow down, and if they are having fun and overexerting themselves they put themselves at risk for serious injury or even death.

Do your short-nosed dog a favor and keep them in the air conditioning during the hot times of the day, and keep their walks brief in the cooler evening hours.

Even if your dog has a long snout, though, you still need to take precautions when playing outdoors in the summer.

Double coated dog breeds like Shiba Inus are also at risk for over heating so always be aware of the temperature and direct sun exposure.

Be sure to:

  1. Always provide your pooch with plenty of fresh, cool water
  2. Offer your dog a shady place to lie down
  3. Bring them inside to cool off if they are overexerting themselves
  4. Always supervise your dog when they are in the water. Dogs may accidentally tire themselves out, which puts them at risk for drowning. If you have a pool and can’t supervise your dog when they are outside around the pool, it’s best to keep them inside until you can keep an eye on them.

Signs of heatstroke:

  • Panting.
  • Excessive drooling
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Increased body temperature (for dogs, this is anything above 103° F)
  • Reddened gums
  • Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine.
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Distress

If your dog shows any combination of the above signs, bring them to the vet right away! Time is crucial when it comes to heatstroke.

Cool them off with a cold (not icy) towel, offer them a bit of cool water to drink and bring them to the vet as soon as possible.

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