How to Help Your Pet Beat the Summer Heat
By Dr. Marisa Pasekoff, Managing Veterinarian
The coats are packed away and the flip flops are out, finally. SUMMER IS HERE! With the change of the season, we’re spending more time outside. Imagine if you went out into the summer heat with one of those coats that you packed away. That is close to what it feels like for your dogs. I will let the emergency doctors tell you what to do if you think your pet is overheated, but I want to give you suggestions how to avoid that emergency visit.
Are you looking for a fun activity that you can do at home in this heat with your dog? Try purchasing an inexpensive baby pool. In past years my dog couldn’t wait to get into it and he would actually growl at me when I would try to get him out! You can often find them for less than $25 and then dispose of them at the end of the season. Make sure to clean and disinfect them properly after each use though! You can also always take your dog swimming other places but use care that he or she does not hurt themselves. Sometimes it is hard to see the bottoms of creeks and dogs can cut their feet on a jagged rock. Some dogs are not as advanced as others with their swimming abilities. Make sure you strap a life vest on them if you have any doubts, even if it is very shallow water.
Swimming is not for everyone though. If you like to take long walks in the summer, just make sure that you bring plenty of water. Remember that the ground, especially the asphalt and sidewalks, get extremely hot in this weather. We see pups who have burned their pads just from taking a walk. Walking at dawn or dusk is usually cooler; however, the bugs (and mosquitos) like to be out then so be sure your dog is using good quality parasite preventives, like Heartgard and Nexgard.
At any time of day, make sure to stop regularly and give your dog a shaded place to rest. Remember certain breeds have a very low tolerance for heat. This is especially true for brachycephalic breeds, like bulldogs and boxers.
Lastly, please remember, never ever leave a dog in a car, even for two minutes. It is not safe!
If you want to give your dog something yummy to help keep them cool this summer, take a look at the recipes below. Please contact your veterinarian if you are unsure if your dog can eat these treats and always supervise your dog as needed.
You will need:
- 1 large banana, frozen
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, without salt or sugar added, no xylitol
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 6-ounce container plain Greek nonfat yogurt
- Plastic dog bones or sturdy edible dog chews
How to prepare:
- Cut the banana into pieces and place it in a blender. Add the peanut butter and honey. Blend on high speed for three minutes or until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the yogurt and blend for three minutes more or until the mixture is thick and smooth like a milkshake.
- Pour the mixture into ice pop molds or small disposable cups. You can also use an ice cube tray to make single servings. If desired, use nylon dog bones or sturdy dog chews as ice pop sticks.
- Place the dog bones upright into the middle of the mixture in the disposable cups. It should be thick enough for the bones to stand upright without help, but if the bo
- nes lean, crumple aluminum foil around the top so they are anchored in place. Transfer the cups to a baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid, about two hours.
- To un-mold the pops, dip the bottoms of the cups into a bowl of hot water for 2-4 seconds. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers covered in the freezer.
Kool Dogz or any Dogsicle
- Chicken or beef broth or flavored doggie drink or water
- Dog Treats and/or Kibble (Dog Food)
- Tennis Ball and/or their Favorite Chew Toy
How to prepare:
- Fill the 96 oz. bucket with water or use chicken/beef broth. *EDIT: If it’s really scorching outside please use common sense. Some broth often has a high salt content (not all but lots of brands) and may dehydrate your dog. I would never use bouillon cubes because these have some of the highest salt contents ever.
- Add carrots, peas, dog toys and treats.
- Freeze the bucket in the freezer until it is hard.
3 ingredient DIY Dog Ice Cream
- 1 quart of fat free Greek yogurt
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup of Natural Peanut Butter (without xylitol)
How to prepare:
- Peel and cut the bananas
- Throw everything into the blender
- Pour into cups and freeze
- Peanut butter (without xylitol)
- Fresh banana
- Fresh mango
- 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt
How to prepare:
- Mix them up,
- stuff them into a KONG toy and