I went out for a run on Monday and left Brody at home. He was not thrilled, but I saw we had some extreme heat advisories in place for the day and I was worried that even starting at 7:30, it would be too hot. When I began, it was 82 degrees in the parking lot. When I finished two hours later, emerging onto the asphalt even as some ill advised people were just heading out, it was 102. And some of them had dogs with them.
I’m a fan- obviously- of being active with your dog. That is a good thing. That being said, I’m not a fan of pushing them beyond their limits in a situation that is potentially unsafe, particularly when you have an animal like a dog who really, really wants to make you happy and will probably go beyond what they should in order to please you. So when it’s hot, go really early, or really late, or just let them sit out the heat wave and catch them on the other side. It’s ok.
Brody likes to come outside with me when I’m doing things in the yard, and despite having some shady places to retreat to or the option of going inside, he wants to be with me at all times. When he gets hot enough, he goes and jumps in the pool. It works, as long as I’m not planning to go inside right away. I also have two little hot weather tricks that I always pull out during heat waves that the dogs just can’t get enough of.
Cooling bandanas. It’s amazing how good one of these feels on a hot day- the cold material really does a great job helping move heat, particularly when you remember that dogs can’t sweat. Even if you don’t have one of those fancy bead-filled ones, a regular old bandana that’s kept wet with cold water can make a difference.
Icy treats. We use Kongs that I stick in the freezer and fill with broth, but there’s lots of options on the market. Plain old ice cubes do the trick, too. Anything to help keep the water intake up in the heat helps. Baby food works too, or, if you want to get fancy, we’ve covered how to create your own Frosty Paws at home. Remember these?
What are your favorite tips or tools for keeping your pet cool in the summer heat?