Thought I would share a few snippets after I asked you what you are all doing to keep your dogs cool this summer!
Dogs, if my terrier is anything to go by, sometimes bask in the sun. No matter how hot I feel, my dog lies out there, belly exposed, panting away. Not for him the choice of shady corners offered by our lush greenery (where I forgot to do the pruning). Skin protection might be a good idea, but what about those dogs that really hate the heat?
Here are 5 ideas to cool down a hot dog
Doggy Paddling Pool
Making sure it is not overfilled, easy to get in and out of, this gives the dogs a choice. Never force your dog to go in! Why frighten them? If they want to bathe, they will. A hard plastic ‘sandpit’ pool works best of all. Often you can find these at car boot sales! If you have limited budget or just want something more temporary, get a ‘folding sides’ type, and lay old carpet tiles or weighted down old towels in the base to prevent punctures from dog claws. Choose floating toys for your dog to collect, splat and generally bob about. In fact, get your bathing cossie on and join in!
(If you don’t have a hosepipe ban), this again allows the dog to enter the water if they choose. Try tossing toys through the spray for your dog to chase. Or, they may be like my old collie and try to catch the water in their mouths!
The doggy ‘Ice Lolly’
I was sent some great ideas for dog ‘ice lollies’ that you can make and freeze. From tuna ice cubes to lollies made from frozen peanut butter and even yoghurt mixed with meat… ‘the google’ is your oyster for more ideas and recipes. Add your favourites in the comments below. Be aware of giving your dog too rich or too salty food as frozen treats, so go steady. A standard ice cube for your dog to chase around works great as a toy. In the past I have frozen a carrot and let my dogs chew on that. Not a good idea to give things straight out of the freezer as this may cause ice burns to your dog’s mouth. Don’t get confused and add them to your lemonade though – unless you get desperate and need a protein fix…
Walks at dusk or dawn
Just because it suits you to take the dog out at lunchtime, ever thought this might not suit your dog? Consider a mental exercise break for your dog in the middle of the day, and save your walks for later when it’s not so warm. Hide a toy and get your dog to find it, or get them to search for you around the house. Teach them a new trick or training exercise instead. Have an early evening stroll later on. Better still, get up a bit earlier and go walkies while the dew is still lush on the grass.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Well all right, I cheated a little. This one is for us owners. If your dog has found a cool place to go, doesn’t want to swim or paddle, won’t eat the ice cubes you lovingly prepared the night before… don’t fret. As my good friend Debbie says ‘For people, I say plenty of iced tea and no deep thinking when the temperatures are high’
Enjoy the sun while it lasts!
– Karen Wild