As the temperature gets warmer, it is time for both you and your pooch to enjoy your backyard. That means keeping your pup and happy in the hot weather. Here are some tips for making your home dog-friendly in the summer.
Get a Pool or Sprinkler
Dogs have a ton of energy and require frequent stimulation. Yet while your dog may enjoy running around or playing fetch in the spring, these activities could cause him to overheat in the summer.
A kiddie or wading pool can help your dog stay cool as he chases his toys. You can even fill up the pool with ice for really hot days. There are a variety of pet-friendly plastic pools on the market. There are convenient foldable ones along with thicker, sturdier options.
If your dog is a true water-lover, he may enjoy swimming in an in-ground or above-ground pool. In fact, your whole family can spend summer days playing in a large backyard pool. You can get a pool loan to help you pay for this new addition to your home.
Not every yard is big enough for a pool. Owners of smaller properties may want to instead let their dog run through a sprinkler.
Keep in mind that some dogs do not like the water. You should not force your pet into a pool or near a sprinkler if he hates getting wet. There are other ways he can stay cool.
Give Him Plenty of Shade
For instance, you can give your dog his own shaded space in the yard. Simply put up an umbrella or purchase a pop-up tent for him to enjoy. Encourage your pet to stay in the shade and away from the sunnier areas.
Protect Their Paws
On really hot days, you usually wear sandals on the deck to prevent your feet from burning. Dogs, unfortunately, do not have this luxury. While their paws are used to touching different terrains, scalding surfaces can burn their foot pads. Keep outdoor surfaces as cool as possible and consider putting a gate or barrier in front of particularly hot areas.
Raised cots are another way to keep your dog's feet off the ground. They are made of durable fabric and allow air to enter from all sides. Some cots even include a canopy for shade.
Some dogs may prefer to relax closer to the ground. For heights-fearing pets, try adding a cooling mat to your yard. Cooling mats draw heat away from your dog's body, allowing him to sunbathe without getting too hot. On really warm days, you can even throw the mat in the freezer or refrigerator before setting it up for your dog. If your pet is older, consider purchasing a mat with a soothing and soft gel core.
Make a Cold Treat Area
Your house probably has a dedicated area for your puppy's food and water bowls. If you and your pet plan to be outside for extended periods of time during the summer, create a special location where he can cool down with some cold water and frozen delights.
Water is particularly important. Dogs need proper hydration to prevent heat stroke and regulate their temperature. Your yard should thus have a water bowl available for your pup at all times. There are even chilled pet bowls available that keep water cold.
Use a second outdoor bowl for different frozen delicacies. Freeze your dog's favorite treat or kibble into a mixture of chicken stock and water. This will satisfy his hunger and prevent him from overheating. You can also put a frozen pet-friendly snack inside a Kong toy or fill up his bowl with ice cream. Human ice cream can be harmful to pets, so stick to the dog-friendly version of this treat.
While dogs love the sunny outdoors, their thick fur combined with hot weather could lead to disaster. By making the above adjustments to your home, you and your four-legged friend can truly enjoy summer in your backyard.