Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to BEAT the summer HEAT

It's HOT. Remember last summer? At least here in the midwest, it was awesome. Although, people who LOVE summer, hated it. But I loved it because it was MILD. Yummy mildness. 70 degrees. Breezy. Perfect for a girl who does not have central air conditioning in her 120+ year old house :) This summer, however, is disgustingly, unbearably hot and humid. Yuck.

I am sure it is yucky for the pups in our lives as well. Especially corgis, with their ├╝ber thick coats! Keeping them cool is so important, but can be tricky. I asked you for your tips to keep your dogs cool and you came through like a bunch of champs! I've been compiling my own list as well, so, without further ado.. here is my complete guide to keeping your four-legged friends cool this disgustingly, unbearably hot and humid summer! ;)


Avoid the Sun
My number 1 tip to beat the heat. Sun = hot, so we avoid it as much as possible. I try to keep our longer walks before 7am and after 7pm. And any fetch that is played is done so at least 7:30pm or later. At these times the sun is just rising and starting to set, which means less direct sun and more shady areas. We also choose naturally shadier areas to walk during sunnier parts of the day. This is great rule to have for humans too, since too much sun on your skin is BAD (it's also bad on your dog's skin, which I will discuss later).

Another great tip is to go walking in the rain! No umbrellas or rain gear needed! It feels good! And is kind of fun to get rained on :)


Humidity means that I will be drinking about a pitcher of brita every day, so I assume that Gibson will need an increase of water as well. Make sure your dog's water bowl is always full of clean, cool water! And if you keep your dog in a cooler room during the day, keep a bowl in there as well. We only have wall AC units in 2 rooms, so we try to keep Gibson in one of them if it is super hot in the house. He gets a big bowl of water in there! I think he thinks it's fun to have water in different rooms of the house :)
New "Slow Down" Bowls

Have Fun with Water
When we can, I take Gibson places where he can take a dip. My parents have a pool, which is tons of fun for the pups to play in (make sure the pool owner is OK w/dogs swimming in their pool!). Gibson is still a little wary of swimming..but he'll do it and seems happy afterwards! lol. I normally will just carry him in with me and then let go and he takes off for the stairs. Or else, I will just dunk him in to get him cooled off.

It is also a good idea, if you take your dog to parks or trails, to make sure that there is a lake or creek where you are going. We have a park near our house that has a small lake and river, so I know that if I take him for a walk there, he'll have a spot to cool off if he gets over heated. Likewise, we avoid going to the dog park during the summer because it has no water source!

If you don't have a pool or lake nearby, there are always kiddie pools! I think they should maybe rename them 'doggy pools' though :) I think most people use them for their dogs nowadays!

Last resort for water fun, is just a good ol' hose! I will hose Gibson down after walks if he seems really hot or pre-hose him off before the walk!

Frozen Treats
What's better than a frozen treat in the summer? I think dogs think the same way! I don't do this often, but Gibson loves getting doggie ice cream (click for recipe). Easy, yummy and healthy!

He's not that into ice cubes (they normally end up melting on the floor), but that is a great idea as well, so I will throw one in his water bowl from time to time. You could also make a frozen treat inside of a Kong! I normally stuff a banana chunk in Gibson's Kong every morning and let it freeze in there until I leave for work. He loves it!

Hair Removal
As it gets hotter and hotter, Gibson sheds more and more. And more. Does it ever stop?? Look at how much fur is falling off his butt after a swim!

The undercoat has got to go when the weather warms up, so make sure to furminate at least once a week! I've heard of people getting a 'summer' cut done to their corgis as well, but we have never done that. I'm guessing it could help though! One thing to remember though, NEVER EVER SHAVE YOUR DOG! Dogs have their fur for a reason, it's to keep them warm in the winter AND cool in the summer! It protects them from the harmful sun and keeps the heat off of their skin. If they are shaved they could get sun burnt if you do not slather them w/sun screen. No fun for anyone involved! Plus their fur could grow back weird or not grow back in time for winter :( So, please. Don't shave! :)

And Obviously....
Please don't leave your dog in the car when you go to the store! Poor little babies can fry in there!

So those are my tips, but I'd like to share yours as well since they are great! Thanks blog readers and facebook followers! :)

Jenn B Said...
I took Zoee to a festival a few weeks ago. They were selling these cloth tubes with waterballs in it, soaked in cool water. I bought her one and she sported that for the festival. It helped a little and I was able to pour water on it every so often to recool her.

Which I think might be something like this??? Pretty cool!

Jan C said...
We stay inside and when they do go out I put ice in the water bowl. In florida, they don't stay out long...

My mom (hehe) said..
We basically stay inside except for short walks and then swim, swim, swim.

Julie said..
I grit my teeth and turn on the AC. Both Caleb and Boyfriend wilt like delicate flowers if it gets above 75. Oh, and we walk very early in the morning and later in the evening after it's cooled down slightly.

(Check out Julie's blog, Julie & Caleb!)

Suz W said..
-keep her brushed out & furminated...a little less hair.
-keep a hard plastic baby pool full of water & filled with toys.
-stay inside in ac during hottest part of day & evening/night walks
-lots a water.

AJ said...
‎1. I give ice cubes every few hours.
2. I keep them inside and take them outside only to go potty.
3. I go for walks in the evening.
4. I keep their water bowl full.
5. I take a wet rag and rub them down, focusing on their circulation areas: armpits, stomach area, & neck.

6. I keep the fan on (works for me!)
(Check out AJ's blog, The Ein & Brian Chronicles!)

Julo said...
1. ice cubes in the water bowl, or a frozen water bottle for them to snuggle
2. a fan blowing directly on a dog bed or crate or other area they like to hang out (I have a large vornado, serious stuff!)
3. Find a cool creek to walk around and let Gibson lay in the cool crisp water.
4. Find a shady place to walk like a trail to stay off of the hot asphalt.

For number 3 I just got back from a walk with Theo, and we did just that! He's usually sluggish when it's hot, but we walked all along this creek that he could just pop into for a dip whenever he wanted, so he actually stayed very energetic and happy the whole time. It was awesome!

(Check out Julo's blog, Corgi Tails!)

Hannah C said...
First off, I know that my corgi's thick coat not only keeps them warm in the winter but it keeps them cool in the summer by trapping in cool air. So I dont ever shave my dogs :) Second, if we go out, we go to places like the lake or somewhere with water.

Laurie said...
Frosty Paws! Sadie loves them. We also have a dog beach and a dog park with a lake, for her to cool down. And currently, we're housesitting where there is a pool, so she enjoyed that today :)

(Check out Laurie's blog, Sadie the Rescued Corgi!

Robyn H said...
Boomer stays inside in the AC and plays with his toys, till it's time to water the flowers (Then watch out garden hose!).

Vicki D said...
A Saratoga Horseworks Cool Coat when we're out in the sun. Fun & games with a garden hose/sprinkler & and a kiddie pool. And when it's real bad...a trip to the river or the creek for swimming!

Meg B. said...
We use a kiddie pool. It's been about 106F around these parts lately, so not much helps any of us. We make sure that the water is changed regularly, not just for cleanliness but because it heats up. Our dog just LOVES to lay in it. She'll be running around playing, then takes a break in the pool.

Mary said...
We just moved to Phoenix where it's way too hot! To beat the heat, Ginger and I take VERY early morning walks, and if she's panting quite a bit, I give her an ice cube. She loves gnawing on one after a walk.

Karen said...
hmmm keys to staying cool ... usually ill rub water all over baileys coat to keep cool, or if, it were hot enough, im sure id buy him a kiddy pool to swim in. and and ice cubes are great and.. a good brushing im sure would make any corgi feel better in the hotness!
(Check out Karen's blog,
Bailey the Corgi!)

Lynsey said...
I second the ice cube thing. My Corgi puppy Penny loves to push them around on the floor and then gnaw on them. :) Also, pups with long hair should be taken to the groomer to get a cool summer style.
(Check out Lynsey's blog, Adventures in Education!)

Katie said...
I saw that a lot of people use ice cubes. whiskey isnt to fond of just a plain old ice cube, so i make little "pup ice pops" There are a lot of varities: basic ingredients: plain yogurt, 2 fruits (bananas, stawberries, blue berries, watermelon), and honey. Other things that work good are pumpkin if i hav it on hand (but that will dye the carpet).or peanut butter.

I will also cube up some watermelon and freeze them, or halve stawberries and freeze those. (simple and quick)

i actually have from when I was a kid little ice pop makers so I use those, but ice cube trays work great or plasic disposable cups (the ones you would use the bathroom) about half full.

Using the kiddie pool has been great too!!!
(Check out Katie's blog, All That Jazz!)

Thanks everyone for the awesome tips!! You guys rule!!
With all of these, we should be able to keep our puppers nice and cool the rest of the summer!



Laurie said...

Great tips!!

They actually market one of those kiddie pools as a doggie pool at PetSmart now! Haha. That's where I got Sadie's, but she doesn't have much interest in it...

I'll have to try that doggie ice cream recipe! Thanks :)

Laurie said...

Oh, and thanks for linking to our blog :)

Karen said...

thanks for sharing :) what great tips!!

butters loves ice :D

Jenny said...

Awesome post Kelly! Living in FL, I can use these tips practically all year long!

Bri said...

when it was really insanely hot, we got his kibble ready early, and put it in the fridge so it was a "cold meal." we've been lucky enough that he LOVES chomping on ice cubes, and plays with them in his water, so that's our staple as well as frozen peanut butter filled bones/toys. sammy has his own water bottle that we take everywhere, even if we are driving across town to my mom's! we've been lucky with sammy, he has shed down to very little fur, all coarse so when he gets wet, he gets dry within 10 minutes, and we use that advantage with water ALOT! good luck to gibson, and love the list!!!

Boo's Mom said...

I love the photo of Gibson swimming. Until I read your comments and realized he probably wasn't enjoying it quite as much as he LOOKS like he is! We are lucky in Southern California--even 25 miles from the coast where we are. It may reach 100, even 110, but the humidity will rarely be out of the teens when it is that hot. Thanks for the tips! They work well here, too.

Katie said...

Thanks for the shout out. :-) I love all the tips that you compiled. I've used some of them.
Stay safe and cool this summer everyone.

Karen and Bailey said...

one more thing kelly!!!! i forgot. In San Francisco... there are usually like 3 hot hot hot days (exceeding 95 degrees) in the year, and when that happened last year, i threw baileys entire bed in the freezer so hed have a cool spot to sleep on, at least to help him fall asleep! :)

Gail Connick said...

Yeah, summer is totally hot and humid, which vexes me at times. That's why my friends and I always go to the pool at their backyard to cool off and, then at night, we watch some sports at my house since I'm the only one in the group who has an A/C unit installed so far.

Other than that, MAN, I can't stop looking at Gibson. He's so cute!

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