Shade For Your Dog: How To Keep Them Cool In The Summer Heat

The summer heat can get to any of us, and that includes our pets! Our dogs still need to spend time outside, but that does not mean they are immune from the effects of weather changes.

Dogs are often more or less susceptible to suffering when the weather is too hot, so dogs need a good solution for escaping heat: shade.

Speaking of things your dog needs and likes, you’re probably keenly aware that they need shade in the backyard during the hot months. If you don’t have many natural shade options, invest in or build some to give them needed relief.

Our dogs’ happiness and well-being are a priority, but they can’t exactly tell us what they need or want. Keep reading to learn how to create a solution your dog will love!

List Of Shade For Dog In Backyard

Cool Shed Ideas

cool shed ideas

Pups need shade during the hot summer months, and we can’t always provide them what they need in our own yards. A cool shed like this with a grass roof will give your pup a place to relax while also protecting them from the rain and other elements.

Shady Dog Kennel With Roof

shady dog kennel with roof

It would be best to keep weather conditions in mind since too much sun and the rainy season will make it difficult for your dog. This is why you need a shade to protect the dog from all kinds of uncomfortable weather.

Pets are an important part of the family, so their health and happiness need to provide them with all they need to be comfortable. One way of doing this is by getting the best dog kennel for your pet outside.

Planter Umbrella Stand Dog Shade

planter umbrella stand dog shade

An umbrella can be a great solution for shade in your backyard when you do not have many trees or natural protection. Turn the patio table with an umbrella upside-down and place it between a flower bed and the sunny area where your dog likes to hang out.

Sometimes, what our dogs need most is shade. But who wants an old metal or wooden pet shelter? That’s why a flower planter with an umbrella holder tucked into your yard is the perfect spot for sun protection. You can place it as close to ground level, where Fido enjoys lounging and under trees that provide relief from the rain!

Landscape Fabric Roof

landscape fabric roof for backyard dog shade ideas

One way to create shade for your dog in the summer is by placing a section of landscape fabric over one side of their outside chain-link run. Landscape fabric blocks out light while still allowing oxygen and humidity, so it’s best suited for a hot day.

Pallet Pergola

pallet pergola for backyard dog shade ideas

Another option for creating shade without blocking the breeze is a pet-sized pergola made with wooden pallets. One pallet can serve as the roof of an open-concept shelter; in exchange, you can use it as one wall and two others to make this low-cost shelter more enclosed.

Invest In A Patio Umbrella

invest in a patio umbrella for backyard dog shade ideas

If you don’t have much outdoor shade in your backyard, the easiest way to create more is by purchasing or using a large umbrella. I personally always use an umbrella every day when it’s sweltering outside because it protects me from the sun and gives me some relief from the heat, so if you are looking for a quick solution, umbrellas might be perfect!

To find the perfect umbrella, you’ll need to buy one online or make one. They can be found at garden centers, patio furniture stores, and home improvement stores, as well as a grocery store before and during the summer entertainment season.

You may also order basic options in various colors from these same locations should you not have time to make your own.

If you have a patio table, consider an umbrella inserted into the hole or standalone and purchase shade cloth.

The traditional option for standalone shading is an umbrella-type pole that casts shade in a circle all around the shade. An off-set umbrella lets you bring the pole farther away, which can give you more space on your deck or patio to entertain friends and family under the dog’s preferred area of shade.

Off-set umbrellas are often more expensive, but they can be worth the cost. Cheap umbrellas or mats may not work as well and will end up being replaced twice over before you’re done.

Umbrellas provide limited shade and are best for shading a specific area like the dining table or protection from the sun for your dog in the summer.

A Shaded Pet Cot

a shaded pet cot

Some yards are not purpose-built for canopies, so that a shaded pet cot may be the best solution. In addition to offering shade from UV rays, these devices also have an air-cooling effect on your pup and may help with ventilation.

Mostly, these cots also come with a travel bag. This makes them great for your pup to use when you’re on the go! And don’t be surprised if they happen to be out of stock because they are trendy!

Gazebo For Dog Shade

gazebo for dog shade

Dogs need shade during the day, especially in summer. A backyard without shade can lead to serious health problems for your dog, including dehydration, heatstroke, or sunburn.

When it is hot outside, the last thing you want to do is go on an intense search for shade. To keep your dog cool and happy in a safe environment, try planting some trees or investing in some gazebo set-up (or small dog house).

If you’re getting a shade or gazebo, consider also adding a dog pool to your purchase. With cooling water during the hot summer months on offer, your dog will love being in their new space with plenty of shade and entertainment.


Sun Sails For Dog Shade Ideas

sun sails for dog shade ideas

One of the best ways to provide shade is by using a sun sail kit for a flexible triangle of screen-like fabric to hang up. Add additional sun sails as needed to create a larger shady space.

A sunshade should protect against the harmful UV rays of the sun. Sun sails are usually made of a lightweight material that allows some rain to pass through and not weigh it down. As such, sun sails make for an excellent dog canopy shelter from heavy exposure to sunlight.

Elevated Cot With Canopy Ideas

elevated cot with canopy ideas for backyard dog shade ideas

Many brands make these shades, and any will do. The most important part is the elevated cot with a canopy for shade, but some brands have other unique features like a larger bed to lie in restful comfort.

Sun Shade For Dog Shade

sun shade for backyard dog shade ideas

Place a retractable sunshade on your deck or patio to provide some much-needed relief for pets. Your dog will love this type of protection from the heat and direct sunlight.

A-frame Roof

a frame roof for backyard dog shade ideas

If you have an A-frame roof, your dog will be able to get out of the sun. Leave two sides open for airflow, and make sure that space is welcoming with a toy and maybe even treats thrown in!

Plant Trees For Dog

plant trees for dog for backyard dog shade ideas

Shade trees for dogs are popular because they help shade outdoor living spaces and be environmentally friendly and inexpensive. There are many varieties of trees that grow in a way that provides good shade, but you will have to select one at your local nursery or work with an architect.

It’s important to give your dog adequate shade during the hot summer months. Deciduous trees are usually best for people who live in warmer climates, but folks in Southern California can also rely on evergreens for year-round shade.

One of the downsides to this option is that it will take many years for a young tree to grow and provide enough shade. However, the result is certainly worth the wait.

Other homeowners create full outdoor rooms beneath the canopy of single shade tree canopies, creating a functional, beautiful, and integrated space.

In addition, strategically planted trees can be a cheaper and more effective way of heating and cooling your home.

Build The Shade With PVC Pipe Canopy

build the shade with pvc pipe canopy for backyard dog shade ideas

A pop-up PVC canopy made of sturdy materials can create a tunnel where your pup can escape for lower temperatures and get optimum cooling. This is similar to the A-frame roof ideas above, which allows air to pass through and cool your dog in the process, making it the perfect custom solution for dogs.

Architectural Awning

architectural awning for backyard dog shade ideas

Consider adding awnings to your porch or patio for the safety and comfort of your dog. They are easy to install, inexpensive, and make all the difference in protecting from outside elements.

Lattice Wall

lattice wall for backyard dog shade ideas

If you don’t have easy access to natural shade, consider building a lattice wall in your garden or yard. Many design options improve the aesthetics of any outdoor space while providing needed relief for our furry friends too!

Roofed Pen

roofed pen for backyard dog shade ideas

If your dog just so happens to sleep outside, they need shade in their enclosure. Keep in mind that a dog house is sweltering in the summertime and will not suffice as shade. The easiest way to make sure your pet always has shade on days when warm is roofed pens.

You can purchase structures like pens with a frame and attachable roof or use some cover to provide shade. These need to be waterproof and durable.

Cotton Awning Ideas

cotton awning for backyard dog shade ideas

To create shade for your dog at home, try tying lengths of lightweight fabric or bed sheets between trees, posts, or pillars.

Add A Gazebo

add a gazebo for backyard dog shade ideas

Adding a gazebo to the backyard or front yard creates an open-air sitting area for reading, relaxing, and visiting friends.

A gazebo is aesthetically pleasing and a practical option, as it protects from UV rays and other elements. Installing one on your property will not only help keep you cool in the summer months but may make for the perfect outdoor living space.

One of the biggest benefits of using a gazebo in your backyard is that it provides shade for you and your loved ones–including your dogs!

Install An Arbor

install an arbor for backyard dog shade ideas

The term arbor and the concept of a pergola are often confused, but they are very different. A pergola is an open-roof structure supported by four posts, while an arbor more closely resembles a trellis with a pergola’s rafters or slats.

Arbors are an open-roof structure that provides the perfect shade for your dog. They have a trellis-like design on either side, making it easy for vines to grow over and provide shade. You can make your arbor even more functional by including a bench so your pup will have ample seating space.

Aluminet Shade Cloth

aluminet shade cloth for backyard dog shade ideas

A popular portable shade solution for dog sport enthusiasts is the Aluminet Shade Cloth. This type of shade can be draped over ex-pens or wire crates to provide a cooling option under hot conditions.

In some situations, you could place it on the back of an open car hatchback as a resting spot for your dog while you wait between events. It’s made out of highly reflective material to reduce heat and provides airflow with a loosely knit design.

Attractive Doggie House With A Loft

attractive doggie house with a loft for backyard dog shade ideas

Let your dog live it up with their very own doggie house! This creative and attractive doghouse has a place to watch from the loft, while the roomy space is perfect for staying cool. Add a ramp or ladder for easy access.

Be Creative

be creative for backyard dog shade ideas

The best way to provide shade for your dog is to find something that blocks the sun and hangs in a certain way. One option is using bamboo, cloth, and some rope to create a DIY canopy or stringing up the row of umbrellas in front of an area as if it were a tent.

Another option is to install stakes in the ground and tie a piece of cloth between them. This creates a tent-like structure where your dog can play outside but stay out of the sun.

Dog Needed From A Shade

What are the factors that can make a backyard shade solution perfect for your dog? There is one key factor, a natural option where they already have protection from heat. If not, you need to create something they feel comfortable in.


All dogs require shade to avoid the heat, but closed, and enclosed spaces will not cool down. Dog houses are not good options! Their walls trap heat, making them a scorching place on a blistering day. For a cool, shady spot, it needs to be open to airflow.

Cool Surface

Shade from above is great for keeping your dog cool stress-free, but the stuff below and around your pup can also cause heart problems. It would be best if you never had their shady area on concrete or pavement. These surfaces soak up heat, making them less than ideal for cooling off dogs who need to keep cool.

For maximum cooling relief for your dog, you should provide a grassy shady area with an elevated shade solution.

Shady All the Time

The sun moves across the sky during the day, moving shade and shadows across your property. If awnings or trees provide shade for your dog, you’ll need to monitor how that shade changes throughout the day.

You must have shade available at all times, and definitely during the heat of midday.

What Cause A Dog To Require More Shade

what cause a dog to require more shade

Many factors will determine how concerned you need to be about your dog’s shade needs, including the breed and age of your dog. Here are some general guidelines for determining whether or not your dog falls into the category of needing better shading solutions.

Dogs do not produce sweat like humans, so it is more difficult to regulate their body temperature during scorching days. For this reason, dogs cannot depend on themselves when they are trying to find shade for relief: make sure your dog has an adequate outdoor space where he will be able to stay cool.

Hairless or Thin Fur

Sun protection for dogs can be a tricky thing. Dogs with skinny fur or no hair whatsoever are more sensitive to the sun’s rays because they’re more likely to get sunburnt – not just overheat and dehydrate!

If your dog does not have adequate insulation from the sun, they may need shade to protect their skin.

Thick Fur

Dogs with thick coats need extra help staying cool in the summer. Dogs bred for cold summer weather, like huskies, German Shepherds, and Pomeranians should be able to cope just fine with sunlight exposure. Still, dogs without these natural features are going to need some assistance.

All dogs need extra help cooling themselves off, and in scorching areas, some breeds may even undergo a drastic summer haircut to keep from overheating.

Smushed Face (Brachycephalic)

Dogs can’t cool themselves by sweating, but they do so by panting. Some breeds of dogs have a harder time cooling themselves because their faces are obviously smushed—things like bulldogs, mastiffs, pugs, and Shih Tzus.

Dark Coloring

If you wear a dark color shirt on a bright day, you will likely be more comfortable than wearing a lighter-colored shirt. The same principle applies to your dog’s fur coat.

A black dog will absorb more heat than a white dog. If your pooch has a dark coat, he is going to need shade to escape the sun.

The Bottom Line

If you sweat in the summer, do not forget that your dog probably feels just as hot. Ensure he has access to plenty of water and makes sure there is always enough shade where he can find a cool place to stay.

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