We all love summer, but for those of us in Texas, the searing heat is harsher on our dogs than it is on humans. Keep your pup cool and hydrated with these tips and gadgets!
Always have fresh water available!
At home, on walks, at social gatherings, in the car. Everywhere! For yourself and your dog.
We recommend having a small stainless steel bowl handy in your car, or even a paper cup, or even your own insulated cup! Likely you'll have a bottle of water for yourself so you can just pour some into the bowl if your dog gets thirsty, or you get delayed in traffic.
For out walking or generally out and about with your pup, we love this water dispenser for dogs!
Feed a fresh food diet!
Remember that if your dog is eating a kibble diet, they need a lot of water even when the weather is normal temperatures. This is because kibble needs approximately 5 times its weight in water to digest. If you feed your dog a fresh food diet they have a lesser requirement for water as fresh food contains at least 60% moisture. So an easy way to help hydrate your dog this summer is to switch to fresh food! Of course we recommend Ciao Bella Burgers!
Also avoid sharing salty snacks with your dog, especially in the heat. We're all guilty of sneaking our furry friends the odd potato chip or french fry, but the salt will further dehydrate them, remember they don't sweat salt out like humans do! Frozen or fresh fruit is the perfect summer treat for dogs - mango, pineapple, watermelon, apple, banana, whatever your dog likes! Either whole pieces that you can thaw just a little so your dog can easily chew them, or puree them all together with some plain yogurt and freeze in ice cube trays for doggy popsicles! Or simply serve a small portion straight up, let's call it a Puptini!
2 cups of fruit such as:
Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Mango, Pineapple, Banana, Kiwi, Apple, Strawberries, Blueberries, Cucumber
1/2 Cup Green leafy vegetables if desired (kale, collards etc)
1 cup natural, unflavored yogurt, kefir, goats milk or coconut milk
3 eggs (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a smoothie maker, food processor or nutribullet until smooth. You can add water to achieve the desired consistency, but really so long as you can pour it it's going to work, water will make your recipe last longer if you have many dogs!
You can serve straight from the blender, we suggest 1 tablespoon per 10lb bodyweight of your dog. You can then pour the remainder of the mixture into ice trays or moulds and freeze, ready to serve your pup as a delicious cool nutrient boost whenever you like!
Avoid walking in the heat of the day!
Get up early and walk your dog, it’s a great start to your day! In summer the sidewalks and roads are SEARING hot and will burn your dog's paws during the heat of the afternoon. If in doubt, put the back of your hand on the surface and hold it there a few seconds. There's far too many cases of dogs burning their paws badly on hot walks, don't let this happen please!
Equally, avoid standing for periods of time in direct sunshine. Shade under a canopy or any shaded area, good tip for both humans and pups!
Sometimes you have no option but to be out in the heat of the day, so if you can't get somewhere grassy to walk you'll need to consider booties for your dog. We still recommend walking in the cooler hours of the day though, because the heat of the day can be too hot for us and the dogs, and we can safely say that for some dogs getting booties on them is akin to getting pyjamas on a cat!
If you think your dog's paws are a little dry from the heat you can use a balm to moisturize them.
Is my dog overheating or dehydrated?
If your dog is panting at a rate more than they normally do after strenuous activity he is probably too hot. Make sure to offer cool fresh water (but no iced water, this can be too much of a shock to the stomach in hot dogs) and get into a cool air conditioned space, or good shade if indoors is not available.
Check your dogs hydration by gently pinching the skin at the back of the neck or hindquarters with your fingers. A well hydrated dogs skin will fall back into place quickly, a dehydrated dogs skin will not. This test is easy to do with short sleek haired dogs but more difficult to judge with thick coated dogs or those with natural neck rolls.
If your dog is out of sorts and showing signs of lethargy, labored breathing more than they would normally do with good exercise please call your vet or make a trip to see them!
Never leave your dog in the car!
Yes we do need to mention this, because it STILL happens despite being against the law in many states. Like your children, please never leave your dog in the car in hot weather. With outside temperatures close to 100 degrees your car literally becomes an inferno inside and opening windows does NOTHING - everyone knows this, it happens every time you get in your car in Texas in summer, even if you just hopped out for 5 minutes - your car became an oven.
Not as serious but to lighten things up - try to avoid leaving chocolate, candies or anything that will melt in your car too, that makes for one sticky mess!