By Kristin Dvorak
One of the joys of summer is enjoying the warm weather outdoors with our friends and family. But special attention needs to be paid to our pups to keep them safe and cool. Here are some surefire ways to care for your canine pal in hot weather.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but keeping your dog properly groomed during the summer months is important. While some breeds shed their fur a few times a year, sometimes your dog needs a little help in getting rid of that extra fur. Talk to your groomer about the best de-shedding practices for your breed.
*Note: Not all dogs can be shaved — most breeds require some fur in order to help protect their skin from sunburn.
Photo courtesy of Serenity Pet Salon & Spa
Before taking your dog for a walk or a trip to the dog park, be mindful of the temperature outside. Your dog’s paws can sustain burns if the ground is too hot. Soaring temperatures can contribute to dehydration and heat exhaustion, which can be fatal. It’s best to walk your dog in the morning and evening, when temperatures are cooler.
It’s important to keep your dog hydrated in warm weather — especially if you have an outdoor dog or a highly active dog. Have clean, fresh water available to your pet at all times, whether they are inside or outside, playing or resting. For fun, get out a kiddie pool for them to actually to splash around in and you’ve got yourself one cool canine!
Outfits on dogs are always cute — but there are clothing options for dogs who need a little extra help cooling down and staying protected from the sun. If you plan to be outside with your dog for an extended period of time, consider purchasing a UV-blocking vest for them to wear. Don’t be afraid to lather up the less furry parts of their bodies with a little sunscreen (i.e., their nose and belly). As far as chill factor, there are plenty of options. Cooling collars and bandanas will help keep your pup from overheating, as well as evaporative cooling vests that simulate sweating in order to keep your pooch cool.
Ruffwear Cooling Vest available at shop.baddogfrida.com
Eats and Treats
There’s nothing quite like an icy treat after a long, hot day in the sun. The same goes for your pup, too! Try these simple frozen treat recipes:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 banana, chopped
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Blend, pour into paper cups, and place a rawhide stick in the center. Freeze at least four hours.
Chicken and PB Bites
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Pour chicken broth into an ice cube tray until half-full and freeze one hour. Combine peanut butter and parsley, add to the half-filled ice cube tray and freeze for four hours.
- 12 ounces banana Greek yogurt
- 6 ounces creamy peanut butter
Mix ingredients until blended, add to an ice cube tray and freeze for at least one hour.