Summer Pet Tips

The dog days of summer are here!  It’s a great time to get out and do fun activities with your dog-hiking, swimming, walking, play fetch, sit in the park, take a dog training class.  There are a few helpful tips to get you and your pup through the lazy days of summer.

Dogs don’t handle the sun’s brutal heat well.  Their cooling system isn’t the best and then there is the fur coat they wear.  Make sure whatever you are doing with your dog, you have fresh water available for both of you. When I took my dogs to dog shows every weekend, I kept frozen bottles of water in the freezer, ready to pack in the dog supplies.  As they thawed my dogs had cold water to drink. I also wetted and froze rolled up bandanas for my dogs to wear around their necks.  It also felt good to hold one of those frozen bottles on the back of my hot neck or tie a frozen bandana around my neck after running at top speed to keep up with my speed demon dog.

If you are not into running around like a crazy person midday, take walks with your dog early in the morning while you both can enjoy the cool morning air and feel the pleasant morning sun.  If you are not a morning person, an evening walk after dinner can’t be beat.  I love walking my dog while reviewing the day, listening to the crickets and frogs in the twilight.  Walks are a great way to work on your dog’s leash skills.

In midday, make sure your dog has access to shade-trees, reflective shade tarp strung up in a frame, pop up canopy.  You can share a moment in the shade to work on sit or down stays, then as a reward you can read a summer novel while drinking an icy beverage and your dog chewing on a frozen treat.

Kongs, the red beehive looking rubber toys are great for a special treat-wet kibble with water or low sodium broth, stuff Kongs with mixture and freeze.  I have 3 for my dog, one in the freezer, one in the dishwasher, and one in use. If you don’t want to invest in Kongs, here’s a recipe for pupsicles made with cheese:

What you need (makes eight servings)

  • 16 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  •  8 2.4-oz. kitchen containers with lids (pet bowls or ice cube trays also work)
  • 3 oz. kibble & hard cheese, cubed

Its lovely to be outdoors in the summer, but our dogs can pick up fleas and ticks, talk to your Veterinarian about parasite solutions so you both don’t end up playing winter host to the next generation of fleas.  A simple first aid kit is a good thing to have on. I’m sure your Vet will be happy to give you suggestions for a kit for your dog or you can find them in stores or on line.

Whatever summer activity you plan with your dog-physical activity or staying home and enjoying the summer in your yard-a little planning ahead will keep both you and your dog healthy and cool.

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