When weather permits, Andy Baldhoff and his black Labrador Retriever, Cody, often hike the hills and trails near their Cincinnati home during the weekends. Whether it's a one-day trek or an extended weekend outing, Baldhoff makes sure that he and Cody have plenty of ways to keep cool.
As temperatures warm up, you and your dog may be looking for ways to still have fun. Here are a few ideas you both can try without leaving your neighborhood:
- Splash around in the sprinklers!
- Discover any dog-friendly indoor pools, nearby lakes or even public pools that may be open to dogs once a year for a special end-of-summer event.
- Take a dip into a kiddie pool right in your own backyard!
Keeping your cool As for Baldhoff and Cody, they make sure to stay hydrated. "I always carry his collapsible water bowl in my pack, and I wear a [backpack] that lets me carry two liters of water," he says. "I always make sure that I have plenty of fresh water for both of us."
Although toting water on long hikes is essential, you and your dog will savor a splash or two of a refreshing drink even during short jaunts. There are even several gear options that combine the bottle and water dish into one.
If you really want to cool off, carry an extra T-shirt or towel to the park on your next visit. Soak it in cool water, and chill out by placing it around your buddy's neck—he will appreciate the favor! (If you're going to be in an area where you might not have access to cool water, try soaking it before you leave home and keep it in a cooler.)
You can even put ice cubes in a bandana and wrap it around your dog's neck if he starts getting too warm under the collar!
More ways to chill
Here's another icy treat that pals such as Cody and Baldhoff like to enjoy as the ultimate summertime accessory: Fill a two-liter bottle three-fourths full of water and then freeze. After some fun in the sun, the bottle can be oh-so wonderful for your dog to lay against, and as the ice melts, you'll have additional water for him to drink.
Want another trick that will be a real treat for your dog? Fill a spray bottle with cool water and gently spray on his belly and his feet—two places that warm up quickly—when he starts getting hot.
As for Baldhoff, Cody lets him know exactly when he's ready for another round: "If he starts panting and his tongue is dry, it's time for water."