Dogs | July 21, 2015

Hot dog? Here are some top tips to stay cool when having fun in the sun

Val Culpin
By: Val Culpin
A wet dog on a sunny beach

The hot sweltering days of summer have truly arrived in most parts of the continent, and while most of us welcome those hot lazy days, keeping your dog cool, safe and entertained can be a challenge.

If you must leave your best friend outdoors on a hot day, make doubly sure there is plenty of shade for him to rest in and that he has access to plenty of cool fresh water to stay hydrated. And we probably don’t need to tell you that he’s much better off left at home than sweltering in your car while you shop or run errands. Heat stroke is extremely dangerous and life threatening.

Here are a few ways to help your pup chill out and stay safe and happy:

  •  In really hot weather, do your outdoor walks or runs with Max early or late in the day to avoid the hottest hours
  •  Check out your local area to see if there are any beaches or ponds accessible to dogs. Nothing like a swim to cool off on a hot day!
  •  An outing to an indoor air-conditioned business that welcomes dogs is a welcome distraction. Most home improvement or pet supply stores will let you bring your dog in, and this is a great opportunity to get in some training in a different environment or some socialization if your dog is a puppy.
  •  If you’re staying home and have the space outside, invest in a kiddie wading pool and introduce your dog to the joys of the water. Some pups enjoy simply paddling while others go the whole hog and flop right down in the pool or even start digging in it. Kiddie pools are a cheap and cool source of entertainment on a sweltering day.
  • If you’re staying inside, occupy your dog’s brain by teaching him some tricks or behaviours. Read up on target training:http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-behavior/how-to-teach-your-dog-tricks-and-manners-with-targeting and teach your dog to target a basketball and push it around the house with his nose, to ring a bell, or to pick up his own toys and put them away. The possibilities are endless!
  • You can also do some simple scent work (called nosework) with him which will really exercise his brain and leave him pleasantly tired afterwards. You can find information on nosework training here: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/3276
  •  If you are leaving your dog inside while you go out on a hot day, leave him with something cool and yummy to chew on. Frozen veggies, or a Kong filled with peanut butter and then frozen, will keep him happy and cool.

Be creative during the summer heat and think outside the (ice) box. There are so many ways to keep your best buddy cool and entertained at the same time!

Photo credit: Jocelyn Cousineau