The Dog Days of Summer

In the U.S., we’ve been having record-breaking temperatures. To say it is hot here is an understatement. I’m not a fan of sweating to death every time I check the mail or run errands. I can’t stand the mosquitos and other bugs that seem to enjoy swamp-like humidity. But, it’s the last full month of summer. I’m in autumn count down mode – 36 more days.

If humans think 100+ degree temps are hot, imagine our furry friends. My female Akita is loathe to go out in this heat. My male Shikoku willingly goes out, but doesn’t stay long. When he does come back in, I swear he’s panting so hard he could step on his tongue. I’ve found a sure-fire way to cool them off, give them a treat, and entertain them – all the same time. Pupsicles.

I pop the tops off baby food and freeze them. The dogs are happy to lick out the food, which takes about twenty minutes. If you do this, please monitor your pups as they could eat the label or chew on the glass. Alternatively, you could stuff the baby food (or plain yogurt, peanut butter, or cream cheese) into a Kong and freeze that. If you use the Kong method, be sure to keep the pups on tile flooring so clean up is easy. Kongs have holes at both ends, so you’ll want to put a piece of bread or some kibble against the smallest hole to prevent it from leaking while you freeze them. I like the Kong extreme.

Remember, don’t feed your dogs anything with onions, chocolate, or raisins in it. Also, some veggies can cause tummy upset, so it’s usually best to stick with foods you know your dog can tolerate. Don’t give treats in glass or plastic if your dog won’t allow you to take away the container. My two get along very well and aren’t food possessive, don’t eat the labels, and don’t chew on the glass. I also do not have any children or other animals that might bother them while they eat.

I often make my own pupsicles, since it’s much cheaper than baby food. Just mix fully cooked ground meat and some water in a food processor. Add only enough water to give it a soft, but not runny consistency.

Cool treats for cool pups.

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