Well, we’re here—deep into the dog days of summer, a term dating back to the ancient Romans and Greeks and relating not specifically to dogs, but to Sirius, the dog star. Man’s best friends finally got the recognition they deserve in 2004, when animal advocate Colleen Paige established August 26 as National Dog Day—a day to appreciate the impact dogs make every day as our companions and service animals. In the spirit of National Dog Day we, too, celebrate our canine pals for all the great things they bring to our lives and remind dog “moms” and “dads” of some important ways you can keep your pets safely cool during the dog days of summer while also being water-responsible.
As you follow these tips, remember to never cool your dogs with cold water, as this can cause their body temperatures to rise. Use tepid water for drinking and cooling off and give dogs frozen treats in small amounts—and only after they have had a chance to cool down.
- Put less water in Fritzie’s bowl more often. The hotter it is, the more you’ll want to refill the bowl. However, continually emptying and refilling a full bowl is wasteful. Instead, only fill the bowl to 25–45% of capacity when you are home to keep an eye on the water level. Consider adding an ice cube to refresh instead of all-new water.
- Always take a reusable water bottle when walking Pixie. Bottles with a built-in bowl or trough are better for your dog and save water vs. squirting or pouring water directly into her mouth.
- Use Zoe’s water bottle wisely. Only fill the bottle with as much water as she typically drinks on your walk route. If there’s any left over, use it to water your plants.
- If cooling Spot off with a hose, use a mister and never a direct stream. The stream can cool him off too quickly and be painful. Misting also uses less water.
- Cover Debo in a wet towel. It’s safer and conserves water.
- Cool Stanley’s paws first. Oftentimes you don’t have to—nor should you—submerse a dog in water. Plus filling the tub only one to two inches uses less water.
- Lead Robbie away from the water and head to the shade, a fan or a cool indoor environment.
- Try giving Linus a frozen strawberry or blueberries—a favorite treat for my dog!
- Bathe Mugsy in a tub, never a running shower or hose. Dogs are usually less afraid of this method and it conserves water.
- Look for eco-friendly sources of bathwater for Rocky, such as clean water from a rain barrel or the kids’ wading pool.
- Always pick up after Chloe. Properly disposing of pet waste puts less strain on water recycling systems and creates a healthier environment for two-legged and four-legged beings.
Please share this blog post and give a shout-out to your best furry friends to celebrate them on August 26!