Staying cool is essential during the heat of summer. Here’s a few tips to keep your pup safe, while still having fun.
Summer is here, and you and your dog want to go outside and play. But it’s so hot. Intense heat can lead to breathing problems – especially in flat-faced dogs – and heatstroke can happen in the blink of an eye. Luckily, there are many creative ways to help Fido stay cool all summer long.
It’s important that both you and your dog stay hydrated, especially during the summer heat. Drink plenty of fluids and provide your dog with ample cool water. To encourage your dog to drink during outings and to boost his system, place one cup of bone broth in his water bowl or travel bottle. To help keep his water cool, you can freeze the bone broth and add it as frozen cubes!
Coconut water is packed full of electrolytes that help keep your dog hydrated – just make sure it doesn’t contain any added sugar or other harmful additives!
Keep in mind that direct sun can quickly cause heat exhaustion and heatstroke. When taking your dog for a walk, seek shady parks. If your dog has a fenced-in yard, encourage him to play under the shelter of trees, or invest in an awning to shade his favorite play area.
3. Doggie pool
A fun way to keep your dog cool is to provide him with his own doggie pool. And you can enjoy the fun, too! Put on your bathing suit and get in to entice your pup to play. Squirt guns and other pool toys are a fun way to get the whole family involved.
A word of caution. Do not allow your dog to drink or gulp too much water as this can lead to water intoxication, which can be life threatening.
4. Sand box
Dogs love to dig – and it helps keep them cool by exposing cooler ground! Encourage your four-legged friend to dig a hole and lie down. If he seems uninterested in the activity, try hiding stuffed chew toys and other favorite goodies in a sandbox so he has some hidden treasures to uncover. If you have a large yard, combine the pool and sandbox idea to create your very own beach!
5. Frozen treats
Summer is a great time for frozen dog treats. Grab your dog’s favorite cooling foods such as pears, cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, melons or oranges. Peel, dice and puree, and toss into the blender with a mint leaf for added coolness. Add the mixture to ice cube trays or your dog’s favorite hollow toy, and freeze. In 24 hours, your dog will have a frozen treat to delight his taste buds.
6. Stay indoors
There will be times when you and your dog should stay indoors. This is a great time to play some indoor games, teach your dog some tricks, or head to your favorite dog-friendly store! If your dog has a lot of energy, take him for short swims, and walk him after dark to avoid the sun’s hot rays.
Always keep your companion animals indoors during spells of high heat or humidity. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog!
Summer is an exciting time – but safety should always come first. These tips will help you and your dog beat the heat while having a blast!
Tonya Wilhelm is a dog training and cat care specialist who has traveled the US promoting positive ways of preventing and managing behavior issues with a holistic approach. Named one of the top ten dog trainers in the US, she has helped thousands build happy relationships with their dogs with humane, positive training methods. She wrote Proactive Puppy Care, and other books. Tonya offers group and private dog training classes, provides training and behavior services via phone and online, and does workshops at pet expos (raisingyourpetsnaturally.com).