Saturday Paws: The girls are going to have a pool party today!

It’s another hot August weekend, isn’t it? Time to think about your pets. Remember, some dogs have a tougher time with the hot weather. We sometimes aren’t as tuned to this fact since our ways of cooling ourselves may include–forgive my southern roots for a moment– becoming all dewy and feeling unladylike for sure! We may fan ourselves, wear lightweight clothing, or sit in the shade with a tall cool drink to run across our foreheads!  But on their own, my dogs can only find a shady spot and take long drinks of H2O.  Add to that, dear Mae-be Baby and other Boxers, Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers (short nosed dogs) have a very difficult time perspiring! Thank goodness they do have their paws, another way to regulate their body heat.

Mae-be showed me her own solution to the heat one day! One very hot afternoon I had just freshened a good-sized farmhouse ceramic mixing bowl sitting in the shade and partially recessed in the dirt to help keep a fairly cool temperature, and I watched Mae-be go right to it for a long drink. Dogs, just like us, do not always remember to restore their water tanks, so I try to make sure to reward them for drinking water. So there I was saying “Oh good girl, have some more water!” and she stuck her paw right into the bowl! I thought she might be claiming her territory or washing a foxtail out of her paw, but after checking, all was well, yet she repeated her paw-washing technique a few more times.

And this year we were ready! The local pet stores sell small wading pools, just like the ones I remember from childhood, except that in place of fish and shell designs on the bottom there are a number of bone-shaped raised areas, I suppose to provide better footing… or is that pawing? It only took a few minutes of filling it with water before both dogs were acting like this was the largest watering dish EVER!

With treats in hand and cheerful encouragement, “Want a treat? Get in the water,” both dogs were soon testing the bottom of the pool with one paw each. Mae-be was delighted to be the one to jump in–so to speak, but she seemed to wonder why a dog with such a hairy coat—Ruffles, was so hesitant! More treats and even more encouraging words, and I still needed to find the right arm positioning so that Ruffles would not just run around the outside of the pool. But soon both dogs stopped panting and enjoyed. Now Mae-be will place all four paws in the water, even performing a little twirl for good measure.

During these “Dog Days of Summer” please remember your own critters!  Freezing bottles of water and leaving them in their play areas can be just the thing. Ice cubes or frozen veggies can provide cool entertainment for your pets. Horses often like to play with large melons in a cool tub of water; their version of bobbing for apples. And every animal, even fish in an outside pond, needs shade. I never take my dogs with me in the car this time of year. The temps in California and other desert areas are deadly in less than ten minutes!

While we’re talking about protecting our animal friends from the heat, I want to remind you to do the same for yourself.  Remember to re-hydrate! And you know, a wading pool can sometimes be a good place for big people, too.  Please stay cool!

Blessings, Beth

Your mid-week nudge: Bottoms Up! | breathelighter.

10 thoughts on “Saturday Paws: The girls are going to have a pool party today!

  1. Ruth Younger

    Loved your chat about your dogs and the ways you are keeping them cool. The play pool is an excellent idea. What lucky pets to have an owner that has so much compassion for them in the hot weather.

    1. Thank you, Ruth!! As you can see from the true life photos, Mae-be and Ruffles, do smile a lot!! How lucky I am to have such an easy solution for them! If you need one more laff go to YouTube and ask for the Bulldog and his wading pool– he decided to take his similar pool into the house through the French doors!! Very determined dog!!
      Keep reading- and be well! Blessings, Beth

  2. I love this!! With our temps at 118 to 121, I had my daughter’s dog come in very early this morning begging to go outside. What he really wanted was the coolness of the water on the grass from the sprinklers. We keep two bowls of water with ice in them for him and our other critters to make sure they stay hydrated in this heat. It is difficult to get him to go out during the day because the ground is HOT! So it is usually a quick trip across the street to the grass and back. It doesn’t take long for him to have his tongue to wagging and running back to the door! And you are correct, as humans we need to hydrate as well. I experienced some dehydration earlier in the week from “glowing” so much and not drinking enough water, and water it must be! Soda just doesn’t do it!!! Keep cool!!!!

    1. Oh, Pam, you do have your hands full don’t you? Your dog is smart- the morning air and overnight/sprinkler moisture is a good combination, especially when your day weather has been so hot!! The ice cubes really do help them. I used a big soda bottle- frozen water inside- for my rabbits when I had them. They would lay on top and next to them all day. 🙂 And you are so right–water is the best for us!! Good Luck & read the comment below– I really like the cold water bandana idea! Blessings, Beth

  3. Great story, Beth! I used to keep a spray bottle filled with cool, or even cold, water and wet my dog down. Bryher of course had no problem getting into a pool wherever she’d find one, often “accidentally” dropping her tennis ball in and “falling” in as she reached to retrieve it. Then she’d swim around pretending she couldn’t see where the steps were to get out. That made for some hilarious moments. A soaked bandana around the neck can be equally refreshing to dogs and people, as well.

    Alas, summer is nearly over here in Maine; a big tropical storm (nee Hurricane Irene) on its way to remind us why we don’t live in the tropics.

  4. Oh, one more thing! Water is not always the best hydrator, believe it or not, because it’s also a diuretic. Be sure and hydrate with electrolytes. Emergen-C, Gatorade, Pedialyte (also good for pets, BTW), or any of the many other “performance” drinks out there can be much more effective in avoiding dehydration. And don’t forget your cats! They won’t get in the water as a rule, so you have to be a little more proactive with them.

    1. Oh thanks for that update Kathryn! I have used Pedialyte for my pets before and Emergen-C for myself. I had one cat that when it was hot like this I could always find him spread out in the big old-fashioned bathtub! And he would allow the fan and a misting of cool/cold water. Thank you for the reminder of the felines!! Do any of your animals get frozen blueberries or grapes? Those Maine blueberry smoothies would be good right now! Good Luck with the Storm! Beth

  5. Bryher was a very smart spirit!! Many dogs do such funny things and then look over at us , like “you know I’m doing this on purpose, don’t you?” They have such a sense of humor! Your ideas are a big help– and cool bandanas for us all here in California (or Pam’s Arizona) tomorrow!! It is supposed to be hotter yet! I am sending good thoughts and prayers for the least damage possible by Irene. Hang on tight! Blessings, Beth

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