Summer Heat

The summer heat is on. For us it's easy to break out the shorts, tank tops, and icy summer drinkss. But for your dog, it's not so easy to stay cool. Here are 8 simple tips to help keep your favorite canine cool and hydrated this summer.

1. Bait the Water

If your dog is hesitant to drink or drinks very little, try lightly baiting his/her water. A little kibble, some meat, or leftover juices from one of your meals will entice your dog to drink more water.

2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle - of water, that is)

Train your dog to drink out of a squirt bottle. Not only can you give your dog sips of water but, more importantly, you can rinse out your dog's mouth, removing the drool so he/she cools more efficiently.

3. Cold Feet

Another great use for a water bottle is to squirt water between your dog's toes and foot pads. You can also squirt water onto your dog's belly. All these things will help cool him/her down.

4. What's the Hurry?

Whatever you're doing, remember to take frequent breaks to allow your dog to relax.

5. Bowl - ing for Water

Make sure your dog is drinking water before and after exercise. A simple way to get your dog to drink more is to add water to his/her meal. Once trained and habituated, a dog will often drink an extra 2-4 cups of water with his/her meal.

Use a large, shallow bowl or pan for a water dish. When the water in the dish is less than 1 inch deep your dog will consume more.

6. Morning, [Not] Noon and Night

Exercise your dog during the cooler times of the day.

7. Steer Clear

If possible, avoid hot surfaces like pavement and contained spaces near buildings.

8. Be Fit. Live Fit. Together.

Your dog will acclimate to the warmer temperatures as summer progresses; you will be able to increase your activities as this happens. Also, keep in mind: the more fit your dog, the easier it is for him/her to maintain a healthy temperature.