Summer is almost over, and this subject was one of my more recent summer procrastinations. Given we still have some dog days left, and fueled by a recent discussion with a client whose dogs we have to beg to drink, I’m finally sitting down.
During these 80+ degree days, most dogs don’t need more than 20-30 minutes of hard or brisk exercise. Bigger, darker, longer haired, short nosed pups especially have difficulty. One of the dogs I walk, comes home and sits right on top of the floor air vent for 20 minutes as soon as we get back and her mom insists I place some water in her bowl of ICE — very much like me enjoying some pancake in my syrup.
Both the ASPCA and HSUS websites note it is not harmful and encourage the use of ice cubes, ice water, and pupsicles, for cooling down dogs. Wiping their pads with isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and placing cool towels or ice cubes under their armpits will also help to cool them down more quickly.
The prior concern around ice seems to have really been an issue with dogs that bloated. Bloat, where the stomach twists and is deadly, tends to happen in larger breeds, and its causes are multiple and unclear. Excess exercise preceded or followed by too much intake has been a reported cause, but it appears though, water, not ICE water is the culprit.
So enjoy these last days of summer as who knows what this winter will bring. If your pockets are deep or your dog extremely active, consider the nifty swamp cooler vest – he or she will look and feel real cool.