Are you wanting to incorporate your furry buddy into your daily routine, but worried about the toll that the heat will take on him? Let’s cover some ways to bond in the shade, as well as some options for keeping your best buddy cool when you’re on the road at the horse shows. Lastly, I’ve included a healthy and easy treat recipe to whip up in a flash to help them stay cool and hydrated.
Nature Walks + Bath Time
I usually go for a long walk in the woods with my dogs. It’s nice and shaded and there is plenty of room to create an adventure for our selves. During hot summer days I make sure they drink plenty of water during our walks, as it is really easy for dogs to overheat in the summertime-so take it easy on them by taking frequent breaks. I make sure they are nice and tuckered out before we have bath time. Sometimes, I even skip the shampoo and just let my dogs frolic in the hose stream instead, as they love to chase the water and it is a great way to cool off and bond.
Did you know that Posture Prep makes a grooming tool just for dogs and small animals? We’ve talked before about the many benefits of massaging with the Posture Prep Grooming System for horses, but the same benefits apply for your dogs too. Amazingly, this tool is great on small dogs and even cats. Posture Prep Cross Fiber Grooming helps your dog’s muscles, improves posture and also reduces stress and strain on your dog’s joints. Additionally, the tool improves circulation, stimulates acupuncture points and lymphatic function. Just like in humans, massaging your dog helps them relax, so after a long, hot day at the barn, this would be a perfect opportunity to enjoy some quiet time together.
Cool Travel Gear
If you must travel with your dog this summer, make sure you are prepared. We all know that providing lots of clean, cool water is a must. Some of the options available to cool down our canine companions include:
- Cooling mats, both elevated and not, to keep core temperature stable
- Tents and climate-controlled dog houses
- Cooling vests
- Sunscreen for sensitive skin areas
Watch for Signs of Dehydration and Overheating
If temperatures soar over 85 degrees, it is probably best to leave your buddy at home and bond when you return. If you must take him with you, there are a few things to look for when checking for dehydration and overheating:
- Dry, chapped nose
- Sunken eyes
- Back warm to the touch
- Parched skin lacking elasticity
- Dark urine
- Collapsing and or convulsing
- Unstable, lacking balance
- Vomiting and loss of appetite
- Dry mouth or thick saliva
Frozen Doggie Pops – the family that snacks together bonds together
Here is a healthy, easy treat you can make ahead of time. Offer them to your pups as a way to cool them down, hydrate them and replenish electrolytes.
- 2 Apples
- 1 Cup Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt
Blend ingredients together until liquid. Put equal amounts into ice cube tray sections and freeze. Feed one cube per dog, as a supplemental treat. My dogs love these, and they are perfect on hot summer days. They make about 12-16 cubes.
Summer is a great time of year, with long days and lots of daylight to enjoy your pup and the great outdoors. Blaze some new trails and make some new memories, just be safe and cool while you do so. Happy Tails!
About the Author:
Stacy Bromley Cheetham, MPA grew up riding horses. She currently resides in Raleigh, NC with her boyfriend, her two rescue Pomeranians, an ornery calico cat, and is working with a promising young OTTB, Indelible (Hanna No Sir) who came from the Track to Tranquility race rehoming program. She is a fundraiser for a local nonprofit, is the Silent Auction Chair for Duke Jump for the Children, an AA rated horse show benefiting Duke Children’s Hospital, and is a member of the Board of Director’s for a local Raleigh charity called Activate Good.