Dogs and Heat

IMG_0245So I have been wondering who is playing the really bad joke on us Hoosiers...I mean one day I wake up sure I live in Central, Indiana and a week later I wake up sure I have been transported to somewhere in the middle of Texas in August. If you are like me you are over the heat breaching 95 degrees for days on end. Now as miserable as we humans get, at least we don't come with fur coats...well, I did date one guy...but that's another story...


Dogs, especially the older ones typically don't do well in very hot weather for extended periods. You have to be especially careful of any of the bully breeds or "pug-faced" breeds. With their shortened nasal passages they find breathing hot, sticky air even more of a challenge.


Then there are the dog owners like me who feel the need to keep a pack of high-energy, toy-crazy border collies (or just fill in your high-energy breed) and now the summer heat really gets to be a challenge. First, these herders don't really care if they are fact my oldest girl will run and run and then just find a baby pool or puddle full of water to cool off in, then run some more. If I did not monitor her, I doubt she'd quit...her younger "brother" will go where she goes, so someone has to be in charge when the weather is hot.


Some creative solutions include:

1. Take the dogs for walks after the sun goes down. Since we are on the Western edge of the Eastern Time Zone, our "dusk" lasts to almost 10 PM for the majority of the summer. It's still hot most evenings, but without the blaring sun it's a lot more bearable.

2. Create or buy frozen treats for your pups - Many upscale pet stores such as Uncle Bills Pet Centers and Platinum Paws Grooming offer a variety of frozen bones and even doggy yogurt cups. You can also try making your own frozen treats by mixing up ingredients such as chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays.

3. If you have a grassy yard and don't mind the smell of wet dog another great treat is a plastic baby pool filled with cool water!

4. If you want to keep your dog busy for hours try freezing toys such as packed Kongs into a bucket of water. Once the block of ice is solid, dump it out on the lawn for double the play...first they can lick the ice to cool off and second as the block melts it reveals treats to eat!

5. Dog puzzles and wobble toys that dispense treats as the dog interacts are a great indoor distraction.

6. Train! You can teach new behaviors, reinforce old ones and really make a game of it. If you have a large rec room or basement, get the who family involved in a game of hide-and-seek or just play the "come when called" game where each time the dog is called, the caller delivers a treat! Just the act of training and the mental stimulation can help burn off some energy for even the most active dogs.

7. Finally perfect your "dog toy tossing skills." Just don't follow my pattern of knocking over picture frames, glass vases and denting the walls!


Hang in there and start practicing your rain dance!

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