Record breaking temperatures have been in the triple digits for several days here in So. Cal. The humidity from passing hurricanes makes it feel more like Florida! The heat has been unbearable and has caused brown outs, cancellation of school sports and dog training classes. Summer is hanging on as long as it can and is going out with a bang.
Most of us have been trying to figure out how to keep our pets cool and hydrated and have paid less attention to meeting their physical exercise needs. I have been throwing the flying disc at 10:00 P.M. for my dogs. If your dog will chase water from the hose that is a great game in the day to cool them off and use up energy.
I talked to a lady tonight who has been taking her dog to work in an effort to conserve energy by not using her AC during the day when nobody was home. But that meant the house would actually be too hot for her dog, so off to her office he went.
A client was going to a dog show last weekend that required she walk on pavement with her dog before getting to the air conditioned venue. She bought boots for her dog, not as a fashion statement, but as protection from the burning cement on her dog’s paws! Remember, if it is too hot for your hand to touch the pavement, it is too hot for your dog’s paws.
Our dogs can’t understand why they are not going on their morning trips to the park to play ball, taking that afternoon walk, or going to training class. They expect the same level of exercise and have no way of knowing current tempters make their normal activity impossible.
We need to come up with creative ways to give our dogs an outlet for their energy that will not get them overheated. Try working on your obedience exercises. You can speed up your perfect sits and stands. Work on down at a distance. If you have enough room, tighten up your heel work.
Remember doggie pushups always help tire out your dog. Go from sit to down then repeat several times. You can strengthen your dog’s core muscles with sit, down, stand without moving their front feet. If you have a balance ball or exercise peanut have your dog learn to stand on it.
Have a scavenger hunt indoors. Hide treats or favorite toys and let you dog use his highly specialized nose to find them. Treat puzzles are great too. If you have multiple dogs always supervise when food is involved.
Play hide and seek with the people in your family. One person keeps the dog’s attention as someone else hides in the house. Then call Fido and see how long it takes to find you. This is a good way to use up the kids energy too.
Discover the things your dog likes best. Soon winter will be upon us and we may need the same games on rainy days to occupy our dogs.