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Is it just Vancouver or has summer been EXTRA hot this year?
I mean, we just survived an apocalyptic-style heatwave that had Casa de Kolchak reaching upwards of 115F in the middle of the day while Koly and I huddled around the air conditioner in our bedroom and we were the lucky ones. Even post-heatwave, it’s been in the mid-high 70s most days which is both lovely for me because I love the heat and a little uncomfortable for Kolchak who insists on wearing his black fur coat like every single day. It can be so hard to keep a black dog cool on a hot day.
I got Koly one of these Canada Pooch Chill Seeker Cooling Vests and it has made a huge difference. The fabric is designed to hold water, so you douse it, wring it out, and then put it on your dog. The damp fabric keeps your dog’s fur and skin cool and reduces the chances of overheating.
One way that I help Kol cool off in the heat is to make dog popsicles.
Contrary to some outdated advice, frozen treats are safe to give your dog! So why the rumour that ice is bad for dogs?! There are a few reasons:
- Ice cubes can break teeth. Plain water freezes solid which can cause cracked teeth or pain in some dogs, especially ones who have lost teeth or who have dental disease. This is why I prefer to make frozen treats that are mixed with foods to create a softer bite.
- In some dogs, ice can lead to water gulping which can cause bloat. Bloat happens when your dog ingests a bunch of air while gulping water. If your dog is a gulper, adding ice to the ir bowl may not be the best choice. Tori at Wear Wag Repeat shared the best idea in her canine enrichment group: put frozen treats INSIDE a treat toy to prevent gobblers from chowing down on them too fast. I’ve already ordered Kol one of these Hol-ee Gourmet Turkey Leg toys so we can try it out for ourselves!
- If your dog has heat stroke or is in heat distress, cooling them down too fast can be really dangerous. Once your dog is already sick, it’s too late to cool them down with ice or frozen treats. Give small sips of tepid water, apply cool (but not cold) compresses to the head, stomach, armpits, and feet, but seek immediate medical attention. Heat stroke in dogs is always urgent.
When it’s super hot, Kolchak doesn’t always eat as much as I would like. I’m sneaky, so I like to trick him into eating something nutritious, but I disguise it as a fun dog popsicle.
When you have a beagle or a beagle mix, lack of appetite is a real cause for concern. These dogs eat garbage. They have a strong “eat first, ask if it’s food later” policy. Even a single skipped meal fills me with anxiety – even if I know that logically, it’s too darn hot to eat. Frozen treats with some nutritional value is how I tempt my dog’s appetite and make sure he’s staying both hydrated and nourished.
Kol loves them. I get to feel good about keeping him fed and hydrated. It’s a win-win.