This week, we’re keeping the focus on Summer and giving you our top 5 tried and trusted methods for keeping your doggo cool as the mercury rises!
1. Kiddie pool
Okay, so we know Sydney is surrounded by water and beautiful beaches. But the traffic and a hectic lifestyle can sometimes make it difficult to just hop in for a cooling dip (not to mention the sharks can be a concern - at least for the Irish half of CDK9 Raw!).
A BRILLIANT alternative is to buy a kiddie / paddling pool for the garden. It's fantastic for dogs who love water and for those who may not be strong swimmers, as they can still touch the bottom.
Pop it in a shady spot, fill it to the brim, and watch them experiment and appreciate getting in amongst it. Cheap, easy to maintain and immense fun, this is our NUMBER 1 cooling tip for Summer!
Just remember to buy moulded plastic instead of inflatable and empty it when not in use to prevent attracting mozzies.
2. Homemade cooling treats
Cooling - check!
Fun - check!
Edible - check!
Our second tip for keeping dogs cool in summer is by cooling them from the inside out! Frozen treats are a favourite in our household, and the only limit is your imagination - just make sure the ingredients you use are safe for dogs.
A couple of our pack favourites are:
- Blending blueberries (or strawberries or blackberries) with water and freezing in ice-trays. Simple, healthy and tasty!
- Mashing a ripe banana, mixing with a little peanut butter and freezing it inside their favourite chew-toy... this will keep them amused for hours, and the mix of fats and potassium are great supplements to their everyday diet!
3. Exercise carefully
It’s important to be mindful of how the heat can affect dogs and to alter their routines accordingly. Walking them early in the morning and late at night is a safer and more enjoyable experience for both of you in the hotter months!
It might also be appropriate to ease back on the duration and intensity of exercise. If you can, giving them a 15 minute swim rather than hour's walk in the sunshine - it will be just as beneficial and much less stressful.
Remember, too, that their pads will be sensitive to baking hot pavements. Our quick test is to place the top sides of our fingers on the ground. If after 3-4 seconds it feels hot to you, it's too hot for them! Green areas, preferably with plenty of trees and water, are a great alternative.
We need to be careful not to push our pups too hard at the hottest time of the year - pay attention to them and they’ll let you know if they want to continue or have had enough!
Getting your dog groomed for Summer can help keep them a little more comfortable in the heat. However, while it may be tempting to give them a really close shave, it's not always the best idea!
Fur is part of their natural cooling system and their skin is not meant to be exposed to high levels of sunlight. Different breeds have different needs when it comes to their summer wardrobe - we recommend speaking to an experienced groomer to figure out the perfect style.
At home, you can help with regular brushing and combing to remove thick Winter undercoat.
Increasing baths will also help their coat stay sleek and functional - brush before and afterwards to remove extra hair and dead skin. Using natural citronella or eucalyptus-based shampoo will help repel pesky parasites and have them smelling amazing!
It’s so important for dogs to have adequate access to shade outside - especially if they’re alone while you’re at work. It’s helpful to take note of the way the sun moves across your garden through the day.
Things to think about include:
- Where the best place to leave their water dish is
- Whether their bed is exposed to sunshine for long periods
Having multiple shaded areas in the outdoor space means they can seek refuge, no matter the time of day - and there are some cheap and easy ways to do this!
- Use some potted plants to provide some decorative shade
- String a tarp between trees to give them a snoozing spot
- It can even be as simple as leaning a piece of wood against the side of the house
The more places the better and the readier they’ll be for playtime when you get home!
Of course, always make sure fresh, clean drinking water is available and change it regularly. Do you have any top tips to share about keeping you’re your dogs cool in the heat? We’d love to hear them!