Surviving the Dog Days

Dog Staring at the Fan

During the dog days of summer, be sure to keep an extra eye on your four-legged friend. Dogs can suffer from heat stroke, often faster than a human. Your dog is at a greater risk of heat stroke if he is a working dog that exercises outdoors daily, or is confined to a crate, kennel, outdoor doghouse or vehicle. Although your dog needs shelter from the sun, if a kennel is your only option, be sure the area is well ventilated, shaded and a supply of fresh water is always available.

If your dog is confined to the yard, be sure the yard is safely fenced with a pet fence and offers shade. Call a fence contractor to help. If your yard is not well-shaded naturally, consider a retractable awning. Dogs dehydrate very quickly in the summer sun, so be sure to refill a large water dish often throughout the day. There are self-watering products on the market that attach to your hose or outdoor faucet. Unlike a water bowl, they will never tip over and spill, leaving your dog thirsty.

If you have the room, invest in a small plastic pool that your dog can lie in to cool off. Fill the pool up in a shaded area to keep the water from heating. Be sure and change the water often as well, to prevent mosquito larvae from taking up residence. The best size pool for larger dogs is about eight to twelve inches, less for short dogs. Make sure your dog is supervised at all times, and that a smaller dog can easily get in and out of the pool.

Keep your canine friend cool with this yummy summer treat! It’s very simple to prepare.

Chicken Meat Pops

Combine low-sodium chicken broth, cooked hamburger meat, and brown rice. Then pour the mixture into popsicle molds or an ice cube tray depending on the size of your dog. This is a treat that should be enjoyed outside, because it will make a mess. You could place these summer dog treats in a zip top bag and take these to the park for your dog to enjoy on a hot summer day. This is a fun treat because it gives your dog a lot of different flavors and textures to enjoy.