By Amanda Harper
July. The month of lemonade, sparklers and celebrating the birth of our nation (and me, incidentally!) Unfortunately, sun-drenched picnics quickly give way to fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat. Being a dog parent in this time can be a challenge. You come to dread taking Princess for a stroll when the thermometer is edging up towards 100º. What can be done?
Use a bandana to make a tube (folding along the bias), and fill it with rice. Stitch it shut if you like. Pop your rice bandana in the freezer for several hours. When you’re about to head out, wrap it around your necks. The grains of rice will hold the cold long enough for your walk. You can attach a breakaway collar closure at one end, or just tie it on! If you sweat on the bandana, leave it on the counter to dry before you stick it back in the chill chest.
Splash Ball Fetch
If you head to the pool section of your local department store or toy store, you’ll see all sorts of squishy splash toys that are intended for playing in the pool. Many of these are great for playing with dogs in the yard! Soak splash balls in cool water and play a game of fetch in the yard. You’ll both get soaked, but you’ll feel much cooler.
Like the Lake
Head out to a lake that allows humans and pets alike to go for a dip. Many dogs love to swim and play fetch in the water. If your dog isn’t great at paddling, stay in shallow waters. Dip your paws together.
The Cold Seat
The last thing you want on a hot day is a blanket. But blankies can be cool! Stick a blanket or flat sheet in the fridge. Mist it with a tiny bit of water for extra chill, or add a pillow. When you get inside from a hot walk, spread your chilly blanket out on the couch and flop down. You’ll thank me once you wake up from your nap.
Siestas are an age-old tradition that is designed to make the heat tolerable. Rather than working and walking through the hottest part of the day, nap right through it. Put your hard effort in early and late. Your dog is certainly on board for this! If his midday walk is in the hot part of the day, gradually make it earlier. If it’s right when you get home from work, edge it towards a slightly later hour. In the meantime, stay indoors and savor the A/C.