Saturday, June 30, 2012


Super hot summertime! Temps here at the Ranch have reached 102 degrees two days this week, which is great for the blackberries that grow wild on our property...

but not so great for a buncha huskies accustomed to much cooler temperatures. Keeping 17 huskies relatively comfortable when it's this hot is a difficult task. During the heat of the day, my aim is to keep the dogs laying low and hydrated.

Here are five things you can do to keep your dogs cool (and entertained) in the summertime! 

1. Take a dip. The Ranch is only two miles from a state park with a large body of water. We often trek there in the evening to let the dogs have a swim.

11 month old, Tosh, gets a drink from a local lake

2. Make like a kid...and head for the kiddie pool! The Diamond Dogs love their kiddie pool in the summer, often climbing in two at a time!

Miles (dark dog) and Ruffian (white dog) get the zoomies after a dip in the kiddie pool. Dogs release heat through their paw pads - only one of two places they release heat (the other is by panting) - so just getting their feet wet in cool water helps a lot with keeping their body temperature normal.

3. Freeze out with some frozen treats. Our dogs love frozen treats like "Fla-vor-ice" or even ice chunks in the summertime. You might also consider a frozen treat made by Purina especially for dogs called "Frosty Paws," found in the frozen food section of your local grocery.

4. Wash it off. Some dogs are resistant to getting their paws wet. But when temps reach highs in the 90s and 100s degree range, it's important to keep dogs cool regardless of their hygiene preferences. Simply washing a dog down with a cool, wet washcloth can help them stay comfortable.

5. Chill out. Keeping active dogs as relaxed as possible in extreme heat is often a good thing. I actually keep two of the house dogs who run around like idiots in crates for a few hours during the hottest part of the day to keep them cool.

On one of the hottest days of the year two days ago, we had a dog sledding presentation at the University of Akron Center for Literacy's children's summer day camp, Camp Digi-Lit. Miles and I trekked across the scorching concrete campus just as my truck's thermometer flipped to 97 degrees. My trusty assistant, Elise, helped me get to the center, where we were greeted by about 20 2nd-5th graders! Special thanks to Courtney Cable of the Center for Literacy for inviting us!

Miles having his picture taken by the campers at the University of Akron's Camp Digi-Lit at the Center for Literacy

Miles is really such a renaissance man: finishing his first 100 mile race strong as a yearling, and working a crowd as the perfect, gentlemanly education dog! What a man!

That's it for now. Stay cool and send us a line on our Facebook page about how you keep your doggies cool in the summertime!

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