Tips for a Safe, Cool Summer

Safe Summer Activities
Car Temperatures
  • Use the Seven-Second Rule. If the sidewalk or asphalt is too hot to lay the back of your hand on it for seven seconds, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Change walk locations. Walk in the grass, in fields or in the woods. If necessary, drive to a good location for your walk.
  • Shift timing of walks. Walk early in the morning or late in the evening when the ground is cooler.
Surface Temperature
  • Play in the sprinkler or hose with your pup.
  • Sprinkle your lawn and then set up a scatter feed, treat trail or treasure hunt for your dog.
  • Create a variety of ice pop treats. Freeze broth or water in ice cube trays, paper cups or even buckets. Add toys, treats, fruit and veggies. Freeze. Then unmold and let your dog enjoy a cool summer treat.
  • Fill a kiddie pool with water. Float treats, fruit or veggies and let your dog bob for treats.
  • 2 cups of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, pumpkin, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  1. Blend fruit to create a puree.
  2. Mix fruit and yogurt together.
  3. Pour into ice cube trays, silicone ice molds or mini muffin tins.
  4. Place in freezer for at least 1 hour.
  5. Store in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers for up to one month.
Brachycepahlic (short-snout) dogs have limited ability to control temperature. (from Sagehills Veterinary Services)
  • Excessive thirst
  • Heavy panting
  • Difficult breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Bright red tongue/gums *
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fearful expression
  • Confused/disoriented
  • Wobbly/unsteady
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Move the dog to a cool, shady area.
  • Pour cool (NOT cold) water over the dog’s body (not his head). In an emergency, you can immerse the dog’s body in cool water – keeping his head above the surface.
  • Do NOT cover the dog with wet towels! This traps the heat.
  • Give small amounts of water to drink.
  • Once the dog has cooled down, get to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • DO schedule walks and outside activities for early morning or late evening.
  • DO provide lots of clean, fresh cool water.
  • DO provide cool surfaces and lots of shade.
  • DO limit time outside when it is hot and/or humid.
  • DO avoid sidewalks and asphalt.
  • DO restrict rigorous exercise
  • DO brush your dog regularly to remove excess hair and mats.
  • DON’T schedule walks and outside activities for mid-day.
  • DON’T spend time in direct sun.
  • DON’T leave your dog in a parked car.
  • DON’T shave double-coated dogs.
  • DON’T rely on a fan alone to keep your dog cool.

Kerrie Hoar, M.S., CDBC, CCPDT-KA, ADT, FFCP

Kerrie hoar has a master’s degree in Biology and is a certified dog behavior consultant, certified professional dog trainer and fear free professional. She owns Crimson Hound LLC dog training in La Crosse, Wisconsin.