Summer time again! And it’s scorching out there, but your dog has energy.
Here are some fun ideas to help keep your dog cool:
If you live in a community where there’s water, hopefully there’s a designated dog beach access. If so, it’s the perfect place to bring Fido for a cool down in the heat of summer. It’s also a great place to let them run off some steam without overheating!
Making your dog some frozen treats is a fun way to help them cool down. And it’s easy! Simply mix some of their favorite healthy snacks with water, then freeze in either an ice cube tray, bundt pan or cake pan. And get creative! Simply blend water with approx 1/2 cup of peanut butter then add whatever you like. Berries, salmon oil, fruit or even liver or tripe. Heck, you could even add the supplements your dog refuses to eat otherwise. Once it’s frozen give it to your dog outside. Let them go to town and watch that tail wag!
Since dogs can control their temperature, to a point, through sweat glands in the pads on the bottom of their paws, get them a little kiddie wading pool. Refresh with cold water often depending on the heat of the day. You could even add ice on occasion if it’s a real scorcher.
Big, strong leafy trees create shade better than any man made dog house ever will. So pay attention to where your dog spends their outdoor time. Make sure they have access to some shade trees to help them stay cool.
Groom Your Dog
Believe it or not, shaving your dog in the heat is the worst thing you can do! Their coats are designed to keep the warmth in when it’s cold and the heat out when it’s hot. Having said that, grooming is essential in the heat. They shed, and if that excess coat doesn’t get properly brushed out it can get stuck in their undercoat and become itchy and full of mats. Also, the hair on their paws between their pads and toes can collect things like spear grass. And that can create sores and infections. So make sure your dog gets properly groomed in the hot summer months.
Cooling Tips for Dogs
Here are some things to watch out for in the heat of summer:
We wear shoes, dogs don’t. Their pads can burn easier than you might think. If you’re not sure whether the pavement is too hot or not, try this. Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If it feels too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. And watch out for those metal man-hole covers. In the heat of summer, those things can burn pads in an instant!
Keep Your House Cool
Don’t leave your dog in a stifling house all day. And turn a fan on for some air flow to help your dog relax.
Watch for Extremes
And by that I mean don’t take your dog from extreme cool to extreme heat in an instant. If Fido’s been sitting in air conditioning all day then you take them for a run in 35 degrees C (or 95 F), their bodies may not handle the sudden change in temperature. Maybe turn off the AC for half an hour before you take them out to give them time to adjust.
Pay Attention to Your Dog
If at any time your dog starts acting odd, check them for sunstroke or overheating immediately!
For a related article on dangers of summer click here.
Do you have any helpful tips for our readers to help keep their dogs cool this summer?
Brenda Christine is a professional certified dog trainer and behavior expert who has always had a deep love for dogs. She opened a dog daycare/health food store for dogs in 2002, but has recently sold her successful dog business in exchange for dog blogging.
Her blog, http://askthedogexpert.ca/ focuses on positive reinforcement dog training and dog health & nutrition. She completed her small animal natural nutrition certification and has used that along with all her years of experience working with dogs to create an educational, easy to read blog about dogs.