Boredom Busters in the Summer Heat

Posted 13 Nov 2018

The temperature in Queensland seems to get hotter every year, us humans are first to complain about the pesky heat. But what changes should we make for our dogs?

Just because it is sweltering doesn’t mean the fun has to end, its just time for us dog owners to get creative about how we ensure our dog receives appropriate mental and physical stimulation. 

We must remember that the boiling hot cement/foot paths can do serious damage to our dogs paws. Remember the 5 second rule, if you can hold your hand on the surface for 5 seconds with no discomfort then it is suitable for pets paws. However most of you will know that this is very rare over summer, we will most certainly burn our hands even testing the ground. So PLEASE do not walk your dogs during the heat of the day on hot surfaces. Think of alternative ways to walk your dog, ie. Walking at night or really early morning, going for a short and sweet sniffari in a shady part or take your dog for a swim instead. If your dog loves going on adventures such as a car ride, this can be a nice alternative to a walk! 

Brain games:
If the weather is so hot that even you don’t want to venture out, play some games in the comforting air-conditioning. Some easy games that will provide mental and physical stimulation are below:

  • Treasure hunt – hide your dogs dinner and/or some treats around the home and let them use their nose to find their dinner!
  • Training session – a quick 10 minute training session inside practicing behaviours such as on your mat, stay, come when called, down & tricks
  • Retrieve and give – if you have a nice long hallway, you can teach your dog to retrieve a soft toy and bring it back for treat!
  • Pass the parcel – collect some boxes and start stacking them inside each other, each box has their very own handful of food or treats. So as your dog discovers each new box there is incentive to keep going!
  • Scatter feed – instead of feeding your dog out of their bowl, use their dry food and scatter it on the floor or on a sheet, so the dog has to use their nose to sniff it out
  • Be creative at dinner time – don’t waste your dogs dinner by putting it in a bowl, feed your dog via puzzle feeders, kongs and/or treat balls

Water play:
A cheap investment to ensure your pup stays nice and cool is to buy a clam pool from Bunnings and fill it up with water for your dog to play in. If your dog is unsure of water, you can make the interaction fun by dropping in some treats so the dog learns a positive engagement with the pool of water. 

If your dog is a water baby, you may find the use of a sprinkler a fun way to keep them cool. To encourage them to enjoy the water, you can scatter some treats on the grass for them to eat whilst enjoying the nice cool spritz from the sprinkler. 

On a hot day, our dogs enjoy a nice ice block too! A simple way to feed them dinner of breakfast is to freeze their normal dry food with a small amount of stock/sardines/chicken necks and pop in the freezer overnight. Pop the iceblock out of the container and let your dog enjoy their very own doggy iceblock! You can be very creative with this, you can freeze a packed Kong/ their favourite toy/dog friendly fruits. The possibilities are endless. 

Training Classes
DId you know a lot of our training classes are held indoors in air conditioning or venues protected by shade. This means attending a class can be an easy way to ensure your dog receives an outing whilst learning new behaviours! Teaching your dog new behaviours can be a very mentally tiring activity and after a class, you can guarantee your dog will spend the rest of the day in snooze mode! 

Remember your dog doesn’t need that daily walk especially in the raw heat of a Queensland summer, mental enrichment can be just as/if not more tiring then a physical walk. Take time to explore the options and find activities that means you also have a chance to avoid the peak hot times over Summer. Most importantly, have fun with your best friend and they will thank you for also putting their needs first! 

Carly Bowden Dip.CBST

Boredom Busters in the Summer Heat

Boredom Busters in the Summer Heat