We love summer! From bare feet on the beach to splashing in the river, better weather and lighter evenings mean we can do more of what we love – spend time outside with our dogs. However, while you can strip down to shorts and a T-shirt, remember that your pup is not so lucky with their fur coat. Here are our top tips for keeping your dog cool when the heat’s on.
If you’re taking a picnic out, forget boring biscuits for your pooch – think frozen gourmet food! Here are our five top tips for frosty feasts.
- Freeze tempting treats such as liver strips in ice cube trays, topping them up with water.
- Half fill sturdy plastic bags with water, freeze them and use them as ice packs in your picnic basket. Some dogs love to crunch ice so much that they’ll happily eat the ice (minus the bag) when you get there. Otherwise, you can put them on the back of fido’s neck to cool him down.
- For low-cal treats, make up a doggy bag of frozen chunks of carrot, apple (minus the core and seeds) or watermelon (minus the seeds and rind).
- For the paws that refreshes, try dog-friendly ice cream like The Doggy Ice Cream Company, Frozzy’s frozen yoghurt, or All Four Paws’ dog Rigby’s personal favourite – Billy + Margot’s honey and banana iced treat, which always gets a big paws up. It’ll keep your dog cool – and keep that tail a-wagging!
- You might think your dog is already your best friend, but if you get the chance to treat them to a Pooch-ini special from Shake Shack, then you’ll really know what puppy love is really all about! Dog biscuits, vanilla sauce and peanut butter make the perfect paw-lickin’ treat for long summer days.
Cool tech for hot days
Ice-cool canines cool down in style with toys and tech to give them a chilled-out edge. Here are our personal picks.
- The heat may be on, but that doesn’t mean playtime is off! If your furry pal likes to play with Kong-style chew toys, keep one in the freezer with a suitable filling to keep his attention – tinned dog food, cottage cheese, pumpkin puree yoghurt or mashed banana are all winners.
- To cool down in a hurry, there’s nothing like good old H2O – applied internally or externally! If you’re going somewhere where there’s not likely to be potential for making waves, then cool coats such as the ThermLow dog cooling vest are a good option – just take a bottle of tap water with you to activate it.
- Keep fur frosty when you travel, with a cool mat such as the Rosewood Chillax cooling mat. It’s activated by fido’s weight and cools at point of contact, ideal for car journeys.
Making a splash
For long, hot summer days, plan a doggy day trip where fido can practice his doggy paddle. Just jump in, cool off and shake down. Here’s a few pawtastic spots to try.
- Urban pups can visit Hampstead Heath or Virginia Water in and around London, where there are lots of ponds to cool those paws.
- Venture a little further afield (see our guide to stress-free travelling with dogs), and visit the Cotswold Country Park and Beach in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, which has its own doggy swimming area for proponents of the bark-stroke.
- Every dog does like to be beside the seaside, and Cornwall has some of the world’s best beaches. Most of them allow dogs all year round (see our guide) – just throw your shorts and sunnies in a bag, and get some sand between your toes (and claws).
This year, be a real cool customer and make the most of the dog days of summer – All Four Paws-style.
Now, all that’s left is to find your next you next pet-friendly destination…