Summer is here, and that means days that reach 90°s, and feel like 1000°! Before you start panicking about your pup’s panting, we wanted to give you some tips— and some of our favorite products— to keep your fur-coat-covered friend cool in the heat.
1. Cooling bandanas
Not much feels better than a cool towel or a fan pointed right at our faces for us humans in the heat. Well, our dogs feel the same! To help them regulate their body temperature, consider one of these cooling bandanas from All For Paws. All you have to do is dip in water, and the cooling material inside will keep cool for hours! If you need an extra boost, try putting it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes after wetting.
During the day especially, the sun baking on the concrete can be super harsh on our dog’s toe beans. Consider doing your long walks in the early morning or after sundown. During your midday walk, consider using booties to protect against the burn. A good rule of thumb is that if you put the back of your hand against the ground and can't hold it for more than 10 seconds... it is too hot.
During the summer it's crucial to keep ourselves and our pets hydrated. Make sure every time you leave the house, you bring some sort of water bottle for your dog. Stopping a couple of times mid-walk for a water break helps them regulate their temperature, but also helps them from coming inside and downing a whole bowl of water so fast that they make themselves sick (we’ve seen it all too often!).
4. Seek out the shade.
During the summer it’s so important to keep our dogs from overheating in any way possible. We talked to our friend, dog trainer Tess, about walking our pooches in the heat.
“The majority of my work day consists of training walks with clients. I spend one-on-one time with them practicing their city skills. One thing I do in the summer is take a couple of hours out of my day to walk different routes to find ones with the most shade. In NYC, it’s usually numbered streets going east to west, because the buildings offer some shade. The pavement isn’t as hot as on the sunny avenues. Of course, any time I can, I try to walk in a park with grass so their little tootsies don’t burn. I walk slower than usual and give more time for them to wander and sniff to give them enrichment.”
5. Indoor Enrichment
Studies have shown that 15 minutes of sniffing is around the same amount of mental exercise as an hour-long walk! Utilize those instincts to tire your dog out in the air conditioned living room instead of a long mid-day walk. It can be as easy as taking their tasty HOLI kibbles and spreading them out on the floor to forage for, or as creative as a cardboard box with crumpled paper or strips of fabric with treats mixed in there for them to rip and tear and snuffle around for. Puzzles are a great tool to keep your dog out of trouble while tapping into their ancestral instincts to dig, lick, sniff, and hunt. You’ll find your dog just as calm as they would be on a walk outside!
A couple of our favorite enrichment items include: