Summer is often when we spend the most time outdoors, but it can be a tricky time to keep a dog well exercised and stimulated when they overheat so easily. Often, the dogs get hot well before they get legitimately tired and this can lead to behavior problems when you bring those under-exercised dogs back into the air conditioning inside.
I’ve come up with a short list of ways to help you get in the much-needed exercise and enrichment without overheating your pup!
1) Dog Pool
What is better than cool, refreshing water on a hot summer day? Some dogs absolutely LOVE to play in a pool. I recommend getting something with a firm plastic bottom (plastic baby pools work great) or something made specifically for dogs like these collapsible dog pools
Want something more durable or something deeper your dog can really swim in? Perhaps even big enough for you and the kids to join in on occasion? Try a stock tank! These are available from most farm retail stores and come in a large variety of sizes and shapes and feature drainage plugs for easy emptying. Typically, they come in either galvanized or poly stock tanks. Keep in mind, the galvanized tanks tend to heat up faster in the sun so poly tanks would be my preference. As a bonus, there are plenty of tutorials online on how to sink one into the ground for a more permanent pool or even add a filter! Just remember that your town may have rules about pools and may require fencing around anything over a certain depth, and you’ll want to make it easy for your dog to get in and out on their own.
With any pool, supervision is key to make sure your dog stays safe during water play!
2) Frozen Puzzle Toys
This is the time of year to really get creative with your freezer! Try freezing your dog’s kongs, likimats and other food dispensing toys to add a new challenge and to help them stay cool while working on them.
3) Frozen Treats
Try freezing bone broth, yogurt, (onion free) baby food, or other dog friendly snacks into various silicone ice trays for fun, frozen snacks.
4) Sand Box
Is your dog a digger? Some dogs dig for fun and others dig to try to find a cool place to lie down. If this sounds like your dog, consider a designated sand box for your dog to keep them from digging where you don’t want. Keep in mind you’ll want to cover it to prevent neighborhood cats from using the sandbox as a litter box!
5) Take your dog on a Sniffari
The idea here instead of focusing on a long walk to tire out your dog, focus instead on letting your dog lead the way (within reason) and sniff to their heart’s content. A good sniff session will tire your dog out in much the same way as a long walk but is less likely to get them overheated.
6) Training Classes
Take a virtual obedience training class, Trick class, or Nose Work class! Virtual classes are a great way to stimulate your dog with new things to think about right from the comfort of your own home. You can see all of our virtual classes HERE.
Nicole Lorenzetti Yuhas CPDT-KA
This blog is intended to be informative as well as entertaining. It contains my opinion which may not reflect the opinions of any organization I may be affiliated with. My opinions should not be interpreted as those of my coworkers, family, friends, casual acquaintances, and certainly not the opinion of my cat, although my dog probably agrees with everything I say, if for no other reason, than because I provide the treats and meals (cats are less inclined to agree with anyone but themselves). Information provided here is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge but, as information and opinions change, neither the facts nor the opinions expressed here may be true or accurate at any future date. As I don’t currently own a time machine, I cannot be responsible for things that prove to be untrue, or opinions I change my mind about, should those changes become apparent in the future. It should also be noted that, as I am human, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes in the information provided here. Frankly, even if I were a computer, it is likely there would be errors, as computers, in my experience, can be a royal pain in the butt. This blog may contain affiliate links which you are under no obligation to click. If you click them, they will hopefully take you the place I intended. But they may not. As I’ve said, computers can be a pain. If you find yourself somewhere you don’t think I intended, click your ruby slippers three times together and say, “there is no place like home.” If you do that, and click the “back” button, you should be safely returned. Computers can, at times, have a mind of their own. Any training suggestions or opinions expressed here should be taken as information only and should not be seen as advice particular to you or your dog’s unique situation. Please consult with a training professional before taking any action.