Here are some guidelines to keep your pooch cool and ready to enjoy some much-appreciated fun in the sun!
1. Keep Water Easily Accessible at All Times
This may seem obvious when at home but it’s easy to forget to bring fresh water along when playing outdoors. Dogs need to drink between 8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds to ensure they’re properly hydrated. If your dog is panting excessively or seems sluggish, stop under a shady tree to rehydrate. If your dog is too hot and won’t drink, you can pour the water over his body, particularly his head to lower his body temperature.
2. Leave The AC On
If you live in a particularly hot climate consider leaving the air conditioner on during the hottest parts of the day. Most dogs begin to overheat in temperatures over 80 degrees so set your thermometer between 76-80. This is especially crucial in humid climates where the precipitation in the air makes it difficult for dogs to cool off by panting. If you don’t have air conditioning but have a basement or dark garage, consider having your pup spend some time in there or look
Many companies offer cooling pads, specifically for use in the hot summer months. You can replicate the effect (for a short time) by soaking a towel and letting your dog lay on it.
3. Make Sure There’s Shade
If your dog spends most of its time outside, be sure to provide plenty of shady places he can beat the heat. If you don’t have a porch or dog house, consider buying a sunshade or make an impromptu shelter with a sheet nailed between two anchors.
4. Avoid Midday Activities
Most days temperatures are at their hottest between 12-3pm. Try walking your dog earlier in the morning or at dusk. Keep your dog on a leash to control their activity and prevent them from overexerting themselves.
5. Check the Pavement
During the summer, concrete and tar can be hot enough to fry an egg – literally. Test the heat by placing your palm flat against the surface for several seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pup. Let your dog explore grassy areas or look for dirt pathways.
6. Give ‘Em A Cool Treat!
Just like you, your pooch deserves a special treat every now and then! Frozen popsicles are an easy and affordable way to help your dog beat the heat.
Banana/Yogurt Pops (Makes 4 servings)
- 1 cup whole yogurt
- ½ Tbsp. natural peanut butter
- 1 banana peeled and mashed
Stir all ingredients together until well-mixed or use a blender. Pour into 4oz. paper cups and freeze until solid. Remove cups before serving.
Chicken Broth Pupsicles (Makes 4 servings)
- 1 16oz. can of salt-free chicken broth or
- 16 oz. of homemade chicken soup (it’s fine to leave all the ingredients intact)
Pour into 4oz. paper cups and freeze until solid. Discard cups and let your dog have at it!