Summer may officially start on June 21st, but in our part of Oregon it doesn’t really start until July 5th. There are two events that you can usually count on each year for having overcast or rainy weather: the Grand Floral Parade for Portland’s Rose Festival, and Independence Day.
Now that our area is getting more summer weather more consistently, it has been increasingly important to think about keeping the doggo cool.
Rain has a really thick coat. When she is fully wet and hasn’t shaken out her coat, she looks like a drowned rat. Her undercoat is thick which is great insulation for winter, but she seems to get warm fairly easily in summer. And with only the pads of her feet and her tongue to act as an exhaust valve, sometimes it’s better to assist in the cooling process.
Here are a few of the things I do to help cool off the pupper in the dog days of summer:
It started when I spotted Frosty Paws in the freezer case at the grocery store. Eventually I bought a package to try, but vowed it would be the last due to the $4.59 price tag. (The package contains four treat cups, making them $1.15 each!) My resolve strengthened when I read the list of ingredients—largely additives. Fortunately there is no shortage of recipes for homemade Frosty Paws on the internet, but the one Frosty Paws recipe I’m hoping to whip up soon is from Geek Girl (she has Aussies!). Do you have a blender and a freezer? Then you too can make frozen treats for your canine companion.
If you don’t have a blender, many dogs appreciate other cold treats like an ice cube (fed to them or by bobbing for ice cubes in the water bowl!), a few cold baby carrots, or a slice of cold cucumber.
During our recent 100-degree Sunday, I remembered the kiddy pool I had stashed in the shed and decided there would be no more appropriate time to bring it out. Less than five minutes later, Rain was splashing around, chomping at the globules of water she was kicking up.
She looked noticeably more happy once she had been in the pool. When she hopped out and stood around for longer than a few minutes, I took my shoes off and we followed each other around in circles in the tiny pool. (I’m not embarrassed to admit it helped me cool off too!)
The next morning when the forecast was for much cooler weather I tipped the pool up, watered some of my grass, and had the pool back in its storage spot in less than two minutes.
Escape from the City
When temperatures climb in the Portland area, we have two options for escaping the scorch: heading up to the mountains or heading down to the Oregon coast.
Rain is always up for a doggy adventure, and over the last couple of years her behavior has improved enough that she’s not making as much of a ruckus the entire time we’re on a trail.
These exact options may not be available to everyone, but many people have some good options nearby: a shady forest or a cool creek for wading. Whatever your region offers, chances are it will be a great outing for everyone involved.
Go AWOL for AC
Our last tip is directly from Rain to her canine brethren: when it’s just too warm outside and your human doesn’t have air conditioning, refuse to leave when you visit the house that does!
On our recent 100-degree Sunday after splashing in the kiddy pool, after the last Frosty Paws had been enjoyed, after lying under the ceiling fans for hours, Rain and I visited my parents and she simply refused to leave their haven of frigid air. Normally she is attached to me like chewing gum to hair, so this was a pretty unusual move. But I was happy to have some quiet time for a few hours until Rain decided she wanted to come home.
What do you do to keep your dog cool? Is there anything else we should be trying?