I am often asked “What do you do with your dogs in this heat?”. If I’m being honest, my answer is “I don’t feel like I do nearly enough for them”… they are used to getting at least one walk in a day, usually two. We play catch outside, roam the backyard, etc. But what do you do with your pets when the heat index is well over 100 degrees? Here are a few tips and tricks we use for Bella Grace and Tucker.
- Find a good daycare!
This is crucial period, not only summer months. Finding a place where your pups can go and they associate “fun” with is essential to them and to you. I know it sounds silly “I have to pick my dogs up from daycare”, but it gives them a place to go and be dogs, with other dogs, while “dog people” monitor their play time. Our daycare (if you’re in the central Arkansas area, click here) has turf so their paws don’t burn, it also ensure that the pools provided stay clean and cool. They also provide shade, and an air conditioned common room for the pups to enjoy! Also, they post super cute pictures of my pups all day so it makes this Momma’s heart happy. Here’s one of my favorites of my girl:
2. Frozen Kong
Our pups LOVE their Kong toys. In the summer, I’ll stuff them with treats, peanut butter and/or coconut oil, and freeze them. In the afternoons when I get home, I let them outside to potty and get their Kongs out. It provides them a cool, fun “snack” while also keeping them entertained for HOURS.
Amazon sales many “games” for dogs in which you hide the treats and they have to figure out how to get to the treats. Tucker LOVES this game. Bella Grace however has learned how to get her nose up under the game and flip it…
4. Hide and Seek
This game Bella Grace owns. You can use treats and/or a toy. I let them sniff whatever it is I’m going to hide, send them to their “room”, and hide said object. Then, I tell them “go find”. These games help their brains stay active and they get to use their natural talents to find these objects. Many dogs need “jobs” to feel needed, valued, their best. Doing these types of activities with them helps meet that desire.
5. Cooling Pad
I found these bandana’s in the winter and hadn’t thought much more about it! All you do is dip it in the water and put around your pups neck. It helps keep them cool and they’re cute. WIN-WIN
If you live in an area that you HAVE to take your dog out (i.e. somewhere that isn’t dependent on cars like the South, an apartment, etc) please make sure you are protecting your dogs paws. These shoes, while may not be appreciated at first, will save your dogs pads from being burnt.
Also, Bella Grace and Tucker highly recommend this balm for their pads. They LOVE this stuff… they also enjoy licking it off as soon as I put it on, but that’s beside the point. This balm helps relieve dry and cracking pads as well as dry noses. I try and put this on them at least three times a week.
Last but not least, give those pups a pool! Tucker isn’t a fan of the water, and some dogs just aren’t! Bella Grace however loves nothing more than to plop herself down in my parent’s pool. My family recently bought a Condo on the Lake, so I’m excited to watch her reaction to jumping off the dock. Make sure with your pups you teach them proper “pool” safety. Most people assume dogs just naturally know how to swim and that’s not always the case. With my pups, I made sure to get them in the pool with me there before I ever left them around water by themselves. I wanted to show them how to get to the stairs. A dogs first instinct is to just get out the way they came in… so, for both of my pups that meant trying to scale up the wall instead of paddling to the stairs. I also HIGHLY suggest a life jacket (they even make cute mermaid/shark ones) for your dog. Especially those of you on the lake, ocean, Canoeing, etc.
Summer doesn’t have to be a boring time for your dog, but it does need to be a safe time. Make sure you are giving your dogs plenty of rest, water, and cool places to exercise. Watch their panting, pads, and fur (did you know, the darker the dog the hotter their coats can get in the heat?).
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