Friday, July 15, 2011

5 easy ways to keep your dog cool this summer

It can be hard to beat the heat in Southern California, especially during the summer months, but here are a few ideas you can do for your dog to help cool him or her off during a hot day.
Walks in the evening- It’s usually pretty warm outside by 10a.m. and it doesn’t get very cool until the sun goes down.  Taking the dog for a walk or visiting the dog park in the smoldering heat will not be pleasant for either of you. Going early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) or later in the day (after 6 p.m.)  would be the best option for you and your dog.  The dog park doesn’t usually close until dusk, and in these summer months the sun isn’t setting until after 8:00 p.m., giving you plenty of time to get Spot some exercise.  Note: If you go to the Butterfield dog park in Corona be aware that parking may be tricky if there are baseball games going on. There is additional parking further down Butterfield (at the last ball field) as well as at the front of the park, off Smith Ave, and you can walk to the dog area from there.  
Misters- Keeping the dogs cool in the backyard can be a challenge.  Other than a good shaded area, you can install misters to help cool them off in the middle of the day.  A misting system is basically a hose that hooks up to your normal outdoor faucet and releases a light mist of water.  Note: Some cities in Riverside County, like Corona, have hard water, causing your misters nozzles to clog with calcium buildup.
Kiddie pools- If you have a dog that loves water, consider getting a hard plastic kiddie pool for them to play in or drink from during the day (especially if they like to play in their water bowl).  Not all dogs like water, but a lot of dogs are ok with water they can stand in, as long as it isn’t too deep.  This is also a safer alternative to a normal pool because there is a very small chance of the dog drowning while unattended.  And for safety reasons, never fill the pool up above half way unless you are supervising their play.  Note: Keep an eye out for hard plastic pools (usually sitting outside of a store front) as more stores are carrying only blow-up pools now, making hard plastic hard to find.
Dog beach- There is something about the dog beach that can turn a water wary dog into a dog that romps through the water like it was never any problem (well, at the beach anyway).  Some dogs may love diving in the ocean waves while others may just get their paws wet, but either way, the dog beach takes all the benefits of a dog park and makes it better by adding water and a cool breeze.  It’s is a great way for the whole family to enjoy a day at the beach with the dog.  Just don’t forget the sunblock and plenty of fresh water for everyone (dogs included).  Note: The closest dog beach to us is on the corner off Goldenwest Street  and PCH in Huntington Beach.  It’s a leash free zone with lots of dogs for your pup to play with, and there is free street parking .  
Blocks of ice- Kool Dogz Ice Treat Maker Dog Toy is a great way to keep your dog hydrated and cool during the day while stimulating his mind.  How the “toy” works is you freeze toys and treats, in water, in the container provided and then place the block of ice on the platter provided that you anchor into the ground outside.  As the block of ice gets licked and melts during the day the toys and treats slowly become available and reward the dog for their hard work.

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