When you do agility or any activity in the summer, it’s important to remember that dogs do not cool down as easily as we do and cannot take off their coats. But you can help them to cool down and stay cool with access to plenty of cool (not freezing) water inside and out in the shade. Most dogs will learn to love taking at least a quick dip in a wading pool of cool water as well. If your dogs will be outside, throw in some frozen water bottles with the lids removed to keep the water cool all day. You may even find they love to play with the bottles when they are empty.
If you are out in the heat for practice or trials be sure to keep plenty of cool treats, check out our other article on some really fun and creative ideas for cold treats Keep Your Agility Dogs Cool From The Inside Out. While many dogs will also run and do tricks for ice cubes! Another great option if you are running backyard course or have young kids, is letting them all have a blast with one of our super “cool” water obstacles like the Hydro Hoop and Doggie Drencher.
If you are in the city or even if you are in a hot and sandy area, you need to keep in mind that pavement, cement and sand can get incredibly hot and burn your dogs feet. It is always best to take your walks in the cool of the day either in the morning. If you go in the evening remember that the ground may still be very hot as it stores the heat of the day. If you must take your dog out when the ground is hot, test it by walking barefoot yourself, then you need to take appropriate measures for your dog feet. Not only do they use their feet to get around, they also use them for cooling and hot surface can not only be painful, but also add to them overheating. If you can, keep them on cool surfaces such as grass or fit them with protective paw boots and always have aftercare paw products for those times your dog gets burned.
The video below makes me laugh every time I watch it. The dog is adorable!