Beating the Heat

    Well, someday it’s going to be hot. And while we stand around and wait I thought we could all help each other by sharing our own tips on how to keep our dogs comfortable. Over the years I’ve discovered some and I’m sure all my readers have a plethora of home remedies, so let’s all get the benefit of our combined experiences!

    For treats in hot or humid weather…remember humidity is as hard on them as on ourselves...I keep Pedialyte® ice cubes in my freezer or Pedialyte®  popsicles. My girls liked the fruit flavored variety (don’t use grape for obvious reasons). The ice cube/ popsicle treat is easy to keep and lasts a long time in  frozen storage so you can make them ahead to use when you need them. And I sometimes serve the liquid variety with water just to keep everybody’s electrolytes where they should be. With the heat often our dogs get bowel issues too, so it is very important to be a little  proactive with fluids essential electrolytes.  There are a number of very good products out there designed for dogs, but Pedialyte is readily available and usually less expensive. It’s always worked wonderfully for me and I don’t usually change something that isn’t broken.

    I also like to keep frozen fruit in the freezer. Fresh fruit that I have frozen, such as watermelon, cantaloupe and berries. These are great and if your pup already likes fruit it’s a simple and fun treat for her. Just remember not to overdo the fruit in warm weather. Ammulett in particular loved gnawing on frozen melon in the summer. Frozen fruit is also a great way to keep birds cool in the summer be they chickens, ’keets or others.

    Sometimes I would make yogurt treats. Taking equal parts organic peanut butter and organic yogurt,  I would mix them together and place a spoonful in one of those tiny cupcake papers and freeze. Once frozen they are easy to put in a ziplock® bag and store well. If your dog eats raw, a semi- frozen dinner is nice in warm weather, but you can do the same with kibble and canned by partially freezing the canned food. Both of these should be mostly thawed though as there has been studies done that link bloat with feeding ice cubes or frozen foods. But we are not talking about giving your dog a bucket of ice cubes or a whole bowl of frozen meat. Think of the cooling agent as a ice cream treat (which also works well if your dog tolerates dairy) and you will be fine.

    Lakeshores are a given but if you don’t have access the  garden hose is a great way to cool and play with your dog. Just remember that a double coated dog will require a complete wet down. If they just get ‘misted’, a thick, but especially a double coated dog, the coat creates humidity rather than a cooling effect and that will actually make the dog less comfortable than leaving him alone. Bizarre fact, huh?

    For being comfortable, it’s pretty hard to beat fresh mowed grass in deep shade. Everybody should try that one, get some grounding in with your companion. (Grounding is something our animal friends due all the time, but not us so much and connects our bodies to Mother Earth. That is why sitting in the grass or on a shore feels so good.)

    I know there are some really good ideas out there for keeping our kids cool in the summer heat. What are some of your remedies?

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