Chill With Your Dog!

August 6, 2020

We’ve been having so much fun chillin’ with shelter dogs in the new dog behavior and training play yard this summer! We thought you might like some tips for summer fun with your dogs, too. Our  staff and volunteers like to bring out the wading pool, toys and treats to help shelter dogs feel cool, relaxed and happy, and you can do the same.


Not every dog is fond of water, so take your time introducing your dog to the pool and never throw a pet in the water or force them to get in. One way to introduce them to the pool is to sit in it yourself with a treat in your hand. If they join you, make it fun by playing tug or by tossing their favorite squeaky toy. You can also offer them a nice cold floating popsicle with kibble inside — recipe below! If your pet isn’t fond of the pool, you can slowly introduce her to water play from a garden hose. You may find she likes to chase after the stream of water or take a cool drink from the hose!


Nothing says summer like an ice-cold treat, and it’s easy to make iced popsicles at home. Just fill a container with some water and let some kibble soak a bit before popping it into the freezer. You can also add apple and carrot slices and dog biscuit pieces. If you do this in a larger bowl and continue to add layers of water and treats over the ice, you can create a multi-layered concoction that provides cold water and treats for hours.


If you have dogs who stay outside in a fenced back yard during the day, make sure they have cool, shady place to rest with a water bowl that can’t be tipped over. Dogs can overheat and become sick with heat stroke if they don’t have a cool retreat and plenty of water.

If you’re planning on a summer hike with your dog, do this in the coolest parts of day – morning or late evening. Don’t hike when it’s too hot outside, and consider your pet’s age, physical condition and breed before you go. Besides wearing a coat of fur, dogs are unable to cool themselves by sweating as humans do, and instead release heat by panting and though sweat glands on their paws. Flat-nosed breeds like Pugs, Boxers and Bulldogs are especially prone to overheating. Keep your hike short if it’s too hot out, bring plenty of water to drink and to cool your dog if necessary. Warning signs of heat stroke include frantic panting, drooling, bright red gums, vomiting, seizures, or muscle tremors. If any of these symptoms occur, get to a veterinarian immediately.

It’s easy to keep your pet safe and happy this summer by checking the weather and planning accordingly. Remember, if it’s too hot out, you and your pet can always stay home, play in the pool and eat popsicles!