One of the best and worst things about Summer is that its bright and sunny outside! For us dog people, this can make exercising your dog pretty difficult on those scorching hot days.
So what should you do with your dog when it's just too hot?
Here are some ways that my pups and I beat the heat and make sure to keep them active and exercised.
One activity my pups and I love to do is getting ON the water. We love to go kayaking and paddle boarding in the summertime. (See my blog post on HOW to prepare for this). I like to make sure to give the dogs some time to swim and cool off in the water as well. This is a great activity that you can do with your dog, but it can take some preparation and training ahead of time. Be sure to check with local kayak/SUP rentals to ensure they're dog friendly ahead of time. (that is if you don't have your own setup!) Practice having your dog balance and stay on uneven or wobbly surfaces. If your dog gets extra excited around water, be sure to work on some calm behaviors and impulse control before going out on the water!
Get up early.
This isn't for everyone, certainly not for me! Haha... but if you don't want to sacrifice your walk around the block or on your favorite trail, try to get up early or go out later when the sun isn't beating down on you. A few weekends ago, we went hiking up a mountain on a pretty hot day. We woke up at 4am to get to our destination and hike before it was dangerously hot for the dogs. While staying in FL for a few days, taking Oakley on a walk in the middle of the day was WAY too hot. So hot that I had to put booties on him to protect his paws and I kept putting water on him. We only lasted about an hour before I was worried about how hot it was. We resorted to our walks being before 8:30am to ensure that it wasn't unbearable outside and still safe for him to go for a walk.
Get IN the water!
Depending on where you live, there are many dog-friendly places that allow your dog to swim and play in the water. This may be a dog-friendly beach, a lake you can rent time for, or even just a stream on a trail. You might even want to look into some dock-diving or doggie swim lessons! There are quite a few dog water sports and Summer is the perfect time to give them a try. Try to find activities where your dog can spend time IN the water to keep their temperature down.
*If your dog is obsessed with water, please be aware of water intoxication and keep an eye on how much water your dog is consuming. This is a real danger for dogs that can drink or inhale too much water.
We went to the dog beach with some new friends in the middle of the day. It was HOT outside, but the dogs were able to continuously cool off in the water and go for a swim. I had to try and make sure Oakley would drink fresh water from me rather than the saltwater, but besides that they had a wonderful time and kept cool. This is a great way to give your dog exercise without worrying too much about the heat.
Can't find a place to let your dog swim? Get a little foldable doggie pool!
My friend has this one above and it has held up great so far.
We went over for a "pool pawty" a few weeks ago!
If your dog is unsure of water or you're just looking for some new games for your dog to play in the water, try having them "Bob for treats!" This is a super fun way to get your dog to take baby steps into the water or to encourage dogs who don't like to drink or swim.
Make some fun pupsicles in different flavors! If your dog chomps it down right away, you can make these in different shapes or put them up in ways that are more engaging for your dog. I hung a few from strings and it was really entertaining to watch!
Utilize products that can help
If your dog is like Tucker and tends to overheat easily, you may want to look into some products on the market to help your dog keep cool. Here are a few things that I use during the summer to help my dogs keep cool:
Kurgo Cooling Coat and a Cooling Mat
Summertime can be a great time to have fun with your pet. There are loads of indoor activities you can do with your dog as well. Try things out like canine conditioning exercises, nose work games, or train your dog a new trick!
Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message if you'd like some more inspiration! If you have a fun activity you like to do with your dog during the summer, please share! I'd love to hear what you and your dog enjoy doing in the summer together.
Until next time,