The Brutal Dog Days of Summer

Here in Maryland we are suffering from 90-100 degree days lately. It’s absolutely awful. I know some of you in hotter areas are rolling your eyes at our whining, but oh my goodness it seems that every summer is worse than the prior! I am without a foster right now, but between my internet/blog friends, the shelter dogs, and my clients – I’m always thinking of creative ways to beat the heat with pups who need exercise.

Tallulah, and AWLA shelter dog, demonstrates one great way to avoid overheating while outside: a baby pool. Tallulah doesn’t roll around in it lounge in the cool water like you’d think she would to cool off, no – Tallulah insists on just sticking her entire face in the pool. Sure, we tossed treats in there to entice her to get her paws wet, but we didn’t think she’d go all in like that – literally!

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I asked the Peace, Love & Fostering Facebook fans what you all do to beat the heat and, as usual, you came up with some great suggestions! Here are what other dog owners are doing to keep their pups cool, comfy and exercised:

–  Taking the pup to Rita’s…where they will give your pup a mini vanilla cone for free!

–  Play in the sprinkler. My pup hates pools (even kiddie pools) but loves chasing the water from the sprinkler in the late evening.

–  Minor walks, ice cubes in their water bowls, backyard playtime and tons of a/c time.

–  Plenty of reality TV watching.(Amen to this one! For those of you whose dogs don’t let them watch reality tv at their leisure… give them a frozen Kong or some nose work games. Then you can watch Real Housewives without interruption!)

–  Lots of nose games, inside and out (once it cools off later in the day). Find it, food puzzles, teaching new tricks, etc. We also run in the morning at 6am…although its still pretty humid.

–  Early morning walks & ice cubes to play with!

–  We head to the water! Went to the ol’ swimming hole today, where we all could play in the water for about 45 minutes. Came home tired, happy and cool. With so many dogs (eight of our own), it’s hard to do everything inside…so they enjoy a lot of outside time too, with shade, 3 baby pools and water buckets (all fresh, clean water). We dog-walk and do doggy daycare, so we are all outside a lot, we get conditioned to the heat pretty well.

–  Some playtime in the hose always cools us down, but I also feed her less when it is hot, and when I do feed her it is he kibble made into popsicles. She cools down and the higher water content helps keep her hydrated. I also am a night crawler, so we get up at 2am and she gets her heaviest exercise in the coolest part of the day. I change her food a bit too… less treats, supplement her dry kibble with watery veggies that she will eat.

–  Both boys have Kewl Kollars so that outside time can be enjoyed safely. Jake’s breed can overheat in as little as 10 min. Water bowls everywhere!

–  My favorite is from Alex (love & 6 ft leash) mix dry kibble with yogurt and freeze it in a kong. We make kibble ice cubes too and are big fans of the kiddie pool.

–  We go to Stoney Point Fashion Park, an outdoor mall that allows dogs into many of it’s stores. My pups love laying on the cold concrete and tile floors.

–  Banana bone! – yogurt and banana mashed in a bone and frozen. We have front porch and he is content on hot days to just lay on the love seat and watch everything go by.

–  If it’s close to 100, then indoor kibble hunts, ice cubes, and training in the air conditioning. The rest of the summer when it’s sunny and in the 90s (though the weather has decided we are to be summerless this year), we stick with swimming in the lake for exercise since it stays hot in the evenings.

Well the verdict is in: y’all are a bunch of geniuses! Thanks for your ideas.  Feel free to leave additional ideas in the comments. And remember, there are lots of warning signs of heat stroke, and it can happen quick! Be very attentive of your dogs any time you are outdoors in this weather.

Heck, just go find a pool to hop into together and call it a day!