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Beat The Heat

Many years ago, my elderly grandmother and I spent a few days visiting my cousins, her grandchildren, down in Miami. Bear, my cousin’s Lab, kept getting in the way of my grandmother’s walker, licking her face when she was seated, and generally being a nuisance to a  poor soul who wasn’t used to indoor animals. Much as they hated to do it, my cousins put the dog outside.  He had water, trees for shade, and he was at least comfortable, if not happy.

As the nation’s temperatures set daily records this year, it’s time to think of ways to keep your doggy cool – that is if you absolutely MUST keep him or her outside for any length of time!  If allergic company is visiting, or small children (or Grandma!) who rambunctious Fido easily knocks over by mistake, your dog will appreciate these fun and easy tips to help keep cool in the summer heat!

Water: Make certain to have fresh, cool water available to your dog at all times.  Having a water dish is problematic as it is easily knocked over by a running dog or (if applicable) his chain.  A great tip is to dig a hole, put in a shallow bucket that holds sufficient water but won’t easily pop out of the hole, and fill it to the brim! Another great tip is to freeze smaller bowls of water, then pop the ice out of the bowl and into his dish. It keeps the water cool and your dog, too!

Shade: Make sure you provide shade for your dog while it’s outside. If your yard does not have trees or any form of shade available, an easy option may be to build Fido and open-sided fort – much like you made as a child. Make sure there are no cords or nails for him to catch on. A couple of lawnchairs, a little blanket, and some imagination, and Fido can stay cool all day! Just make sure it’s secure and he has easy access to it.

A Children’s Pool: A few inches of water is a whole lotta heaven for some dogs!

Frozen Treats: Some great treat ideas for Fido are cropping up all over! Kong recently released an ice-cube style tray – complete with packets of mix for broth-flavored ice cubes! Our dogs love them! Also a new favorite treat this year is the frozen yogurt/peanut butter treats shown in the picture. Easy to make, too!

Frozen Dog Treats


18 oz of low fat, unflavored yogurt
1/2 cup peanut butter  (we use Krema – just peanuts and a little salt)

1 4oz. jar banana baby food (our dogs prefer meat-flavored. Just make sure there is no onion or garlic in it!)
1 tablespoon of honey

Combine all ingredients and blend well. Pour mixture into small paper cups and freeze. Bone appetit!

So, be sure to keep an outdoor dog cool this year! He will thank you for it!

(Oh, final word on my cousin’s dog: Bear got Grandma back later that night. . . when my cousins let him in the house for the evening, he quickly hunted down her suitcase, lifted his leg, and, well, I think you know the rest.)

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