by Kevin Davies
Summer days are loaded with sun and fun. Despite the heat, summers can come with lots of cool treats and aquatic entertainment. It’s a fact that dogs and their owners love to stay indoors in properly air conditioned rooms. But you need to find other ways of keeping yourselves cool when the mercury rises.
Unlike human beings, dogs cannot keep themselves cool by sweating. They may sweat a bit on their pads, but that is not enough. So, if you see your dog panting, then understand that he is feeling the heat and is trying to keep himself cool. Unfortunately, even excessive panting fails to keep your pet cool in extremely humid and hot conditions.
Below are some tips on how to keep your dog cool in the summer.
Your dog needs water—and lots of it! Remember to keep a pan of cool, fresh water ready at all times. This is all the more crucial in locations where temperatures tend to shoot up high, and humidity levels rise beyond the levels of tolerance.
It’s best advised to put your dog’s drinking water pan in a shady place and keep changing its water frequently. A watering system can also be installed and hooked up to a faucet placed outdoors. This smart system is designed to provide fresh water as needed and is generally triggered by a specific action or motion.
Shelter from the Sun
Summer heat can sap out the energy from your dog. A small period of sunbathing is enjoyable , but then you need to create a shady spot for your pet. Apart from causing sunburns and rashes, prolonged exposure to the sun can also lead to high levels of exhaustion in your dog. Before you start looking around for sunscreens and high SPFs for your pet, look for a cool, sheltered spot within your immediate environment.
You can consider investing in an insulated kennel, or a large canopy or open-air tent for the purpose. If you don’t want your dog inside your air-conditioned home, then perhaps you can put a fan in the patio or inside any other sheltered structure. A doggie door, which provides easy indoor access for your pet, can also be installed in your kitchen, living room, or other area in the house.
Cooling off in Pools
Is your dog fond of water? If so, then a large kiddy pool (made of molded plastic) or a giant tub can prove to be an excellent addition to your backyard. These dog-friendly tubs and pools can be found in supermarkets and other stores in your neighborhood. And yes, remember to put in some chewing toys and other things to entertain your pet while he/she takes that much-needed dip.
Your dog’s cooling tub can be parked in a shady spot outdoors. The water should be changed frequently. You should not leave the pool filled up when not in use, as the water will become stagnant and may attract mosquitoes and dirt. You can also use your sprinkler or hose to keep your dog cool. However, most dogs would prefer a pool to the sprinkler!
Cool Doggie Beds
Your dog needs a cool, shady place to sleep and relax. Most soft dog beds end up being warm and can cause discomfort during hot summer days. In most cases, dogs love to stretch out on tiled or concrete floors when the temperatures are rising outdoors.
Cool dog beds are specially designed to create the highest levels of coolness and comfort. They are made of gel-like materials or other liquids to keep them cool. These beds are a great alternative for rough, hard floors, and provide a feeling of coolness for your dog.
Doggie Ice Cream: As you may already know, dairy-based products, like real ice-cream is not good for your doggie. They can lead to GI upsets and contain high levels of sugar. Look around for healthy and refreshing ice creams like those branded as Frosty Paws” or “Lick-a-lots.” Your dog will love these tasty treats and you will soon find him/her wanting more.
However, if you are worried about the expense, then instead of rushing to the store, you can make a hearty dog “ice-cream” right in the comfort of your kitchen. Read on for a recipe that is both affordable and easy to make.
8 ounces of plain yogurt (Non-fat or low -at Greek yogurt is ideal)
1 ripe banana
1 Tbsp of creamy peanut butter
Run all the ingredients through a food processor or blender. Pour this mixture into small plastic cups or containers and freeze overnight. The ratio of these ingredients can be adjusted per the texture and taste preferred by your dog. These treats can be left in the doggie bowl, but will last longer if left in their individual containers. You can also try mixing in apples, diced carrots or lean meat for different results.
Puppy Ice Pops: This easy, fast recipe for making frozen “ice-pops” is always welcomed by dog owners looking for great ways of keeping their pets cool.
You will require:
Beef or Chicken broth (low-sodium, fat-free and with no onion ingredients)
Freeze the broth in mini-muffin pans or ice cube trays. These icy treats are delicious and nutritious, and can be placed atop kibble or in a water bowl. Here again, you can experiment with apples, diced carrots and minced meat.
Frozen Kong Stuffing: Before you ask, “what is a Kong?,” a “Kong” is a stuffable dog toy that can be filled up with different ingredients and are fit for dogs of all shapes and sizes. You can fill these toys with a mix of chilled food during hot summer days and offer them as delectable treats. However, you must remember that these stuffings harden up really fast inside the “Kong,” and you need to give it to your pet within two hours of being filled up.
These simple but effective cooling-off tips go a long way in keeping your dog healthy, happy, and enjoying long summer days—the right way!
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