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July 15, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Dog Days of Summer: 6 Fun Ways to Keep Cool with Fido

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

The heat is on! What can you do to help Fido stay cool during the hot and humid dog days of summer? Here are some great tips for some water fun, cool treats (even a recipe for a doggy smoothie!), and some fun games to play inside!

Water Fun!

These are two great options for dogs that LOVE water! Check your local area to find out where your dog beaches are or invest in a doggie pool:

  • 1. Dog Beach: Bring your sunscreen, towels for you and Fido, bottled water, snacks, a chair, poo bags, a leash, and water friendly toys! Try to go early in the day or later in the evening rather than the middle of the day. Remember, the sand gets hot as well as the pavement.
  • 2. Doggie Pool: Don't have time to visit a dog beach? No problem! A simple kiddie pool in the backyard is a great way to help keep your water-loving dog cool in the summer heat! For under $10, this really can't be passed up!

Indoor Playtime!

Consider playing fun games in the cool and refreshing air conditioning of your home, all the while teaching your dog a valuable command - COME!

  • 3. Monkey in the Middle: Start with your dog between you and a partner as close as possible, facing each other. Each person takes turn saying command "Come." Then, once he responds to the command, reward your dog with a treat, grab their collar, and hold on until your partner calls the dog. Then, take a step back. Your dog should run back and forth to each person getting treats with each command.
  • 4. Chase Me: As in let your dog chase you. NEVER, EVER chase your dog. Put treats in your hand, hold them up to your dog's nose, and use the command "come, come, come" running and having your dog chase you. Run a few steps, stop, and reward your dog with the treats from your hand. Slowly build up the distance your dog chases you.
  • 5. Hide-n-Seek: Each family member or friend hide in a room (treats in hands) and calls the dog to come. Remember to decide beforehand in which order you will call the dog so as not to confuse him about who he should run to. Once your dog finds you, reward him with treats, grab their collar, hold on, and wait until the next person calls the dog. You then go to a different room that isn't being occupied (make the game more challenging by hiding behind furniture, in a closet, underneath a bed.) With doggy hide-n-seek, you must always call your dog to you until they find you. Repeat that "come" command.

Cool Summer Treats!

Ice cubes, watermelon, and a frozen Kong (filled with yummy peanut butter and banana) are all great treats to help keep your dog cool this summer!

Fill up a dish with sliced watermelon and ice cubes, and let your dog have at it. Consider purchasing a toy like the Hydro Bone that can be frozen and releases water slowly while played with OR:

6. Make a cool doggy smoothie!

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup of Plain Yogurt (which is an AWESOME natural probiotic)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey
  • ½ cup of sliced apple (optional, just another piece of yummy fruit)
  • Mix in blender, serve in bowl

Your dog will go nuts over this woof-tastily treat!

What NOT to do during a Heat Wave

  • Don't take your dog for a run or walk in midday. Early morning or late evening is best. If the pavement is hot for your feet, it is too hot for their paws. Their fur coat is permanent.
  • Do NOT leave your dog outside in the heat. A ground of dirt, a dog house, or a shaded yard is not enough to keep them cool. Bring them inside where the A/C is.
  • Lastly, but MOST importantly!!! Yes, this one has to be repeated a thousand times, if you're running errands, leave the pets at home! Do NOT leave your pets in a vehicle with the windows cracked for even 10 minutes! If you are running errands, that 10 minute stop into the store will quickly take a vehicle from 80 degrees to 99 degrees! Do I really need to say more?

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