Helping Your Agility Dog Keep His Cool
One of the downsides to summer is the heat with a sport that is as active as dog agility. But that doesn’t have to stop you from practicing as long as you do your practices in the morning and evening when the temperatures are the coolest. Keeping in mind dogs don’t cool down as quickly as we can you need to always provide them with cool, fresh water and a place to get out of the heat. When practicing you need to give them more breaks especially high drive dogs that will not quit until it is too late and they go into heat exhaustion.
Some ways to keep their water cool is to freeze water bottles and put them in their water dishes. Be sure you remove the bottle tops so your dog doesn’t swallow them and so the cold water can empty into the bowl. It may take some work getting them use to, but most dogs will learn to love taking at least a quick dip into a wadding pool of water. Dogs cool through their pads so even standing in cool water helps.
If you have trials that will be outside during the heat of the day be sure to keep a cooler of frozen treats and ice cubes for your dog. Some dogs even see ice cubes as better than chicken pieces! If you need more cool ideas for summer time treats, check out our other article on some really fun and creative ideas for cold treats Keep Your Agility Dogs Cool From The Inside Out. Another great idea for home practices, especially if you have kids, is to let them have a go at one of our super “cool” water obstacles like the Hydro Hoop and Doggie Drencher.
If you are in the city or a hot and sandy area, you need to keep in mind these surfaces can get incredibly hot and burn your dogs feet. Take your walks in the cool of the day either in the morning or the evening keeping in mind that the ground may still be very hot as it stores the heat of the day. If you must take your dog out when the ground is hot, test it by walking barefoot yourself, then you need to take appropriate measures for your dog feet. Not only do they use their feet to get around, they also use them for cooling and hot surface can not only be painful, but also add to them overheating. If you can, keep them on cool surfaces such as grass or fit them with protective paw boots and always have aftercare paw products for those times your dog gets burned.