I’m looking for some ways to keep my Boxer, Betty,
cool and entertained when it is really hot outside. I’ve
been told not to walk her during the heat of the day,
but I worry she’s not getting enough exercise. Any
ideas? I am on a limited budget.
You’ve gotten good advice, Irene. Boxers and other
short-muzzled breeds are particularly susceptible to the
heat, due to the structure of their airways. I
appreciate that you are not only interested in keeping
Betty cool, but also healthy, and both physical and
mental stimulation are important.
we get into the heat of summer, adjust your schedule if
needed, so you can walk Betty during the cooler early
morning or evening hours. During the heat of the day,
remaining indoors is best, although a cool, covered
patio can also work, with some additional
Betty enjoys water, a kiddie pool with fresh, clean
water might be just the thing to not only keep her cool,
but provide some entertainment as well, and I’m not
only talking about the dog! After filling the pool, cut
a hot dog or cheese stick into pea-sized pieces. Show
Betty those enticing goodies, and then toss them all
into the pool; it’s her job to bob, paw and splash as
she works to get all of those goodies into her mouth.
Keep the camera at the ready — this can be so much fun
of my dogs’ favorite water games involves the hose. I
turn it on, and wave the stream of water around, and
they jump and grab at it. If Betty enjoys this, do it on
the grass so the water is not wasted.
resealable gallon-sized plastic bags with water and lay
them flat to freeze. Once frozen, put a couple of them
on the floor and cover with a few towels to offer Betty
a nice cool place to lay down.
empty plastic soda bottle can easily be repurposed into
a toy. Fill it 3/4 full of water and freeze upright. You
can add a few small pieces of meat for an extra bit of
attraction if you wish. Once frozen, offer it to Betty
outside, and encourage her to go after it. Treat it like
a soccer ball, let her lick and chew on it, and the
treats will become available to her as it melts.
chicken broth in an ice cube tray. Then put 3-4 broth
cubes into Betty’s water bowl, to add a little taste,
which will encourage her to drink more and thus keep her
well hydrated. She may like to chew on the broth cube
itself, so offer one to her on the patio to enjoy. If
you have a few toys with ports to stuff goodies into
like peanut butter or cream cheese, freeze them before
offering to her.
How can I safely let my dog swim in our pool?
First, I would not force your dog into the water, but if
he likes to swim, then absolutely let him! If your dog’s
desire to swim is significantly greater than his
ability, purchase a lifejacket specifically designed for
dogs, which can be found online.
very important to teach your dog how to safely get out
of the pool on his own. Without some specific training,
dogs will often just go to any side of the pool and try
to haul themselves out, usually without success.
Consider hiring a trainer with experience in working
with dogs in a pool setting, or try some basics
to going into the pool with your dog on leash, place
some yummy treats on the deck where the steps are. Allow
your dog to swim around a little, and when he goes to
the side to get out, gently guide him toward the steps
with the leash. As he exits, make sure he gets his food
reward, and repeat. Continue with this process on leash,
and make sure any attempt he makes at getting out on the
side is thwarted by you, while consistently guiding him
back toward the steps for success. As he begins to get
the idea, let him swim further away from the steps
before allowing him to find his way back. Once he stops
trying to exit from the side, and figures out that the
only route to getting out is the steps, you can remove
the leash, but be sure to only allow him to swim with a
"lifeguard" on duty.