One of the issues that frequently comes up in the summer is how do I keep my dog cool enough that it wants to run?
There is of course the old tried and true….wet down your dog. Wet down your dog particularly on it’s underbelly. The evaporation of the water helps to cool the dog down. You can do this by getting your dog to lay down in a kids pool filled with water, take them to a local watering hole or creek, spraying them down with a hose or water bottle with sprayer and so forth. Just get that dog wet!
Then there are other items a person can use.
Clean Run sells a variety of coats. Note this page also lists warm weather coats, but for the summer you want to look at the chilly coats, cool coats etc. Other companies make them as well. You could get a Saratoga Cooling coat, Myde Cool coats, and so forth. Do a search on-line or ask agility friends where they got theirs! 🙂
Don’t forget an important step of conditioning a dog to work in the heat. If a dog is used to being in air conditioning, and then you take him out to work well… gee…of course the heat will make him/her feel like wilting! Keep your dog out in the heat more often, get him to work…but not so much that he overheats. As one person says:
I would recommend starting by going outside when the temperature is at the edge of his heat tolerance — don’t start at a place where it’s so hot he just shuts down. Instead of working on agility training, work on playing any kind of a game with him that your dog enjoys and/or has a high level of reinforcement. Keep the sessions very short — 5 minutes. Build up to 10 minutes. Then add some agility work. As your dog does better and better with this, increase the heat factor a bit, drop back the working time and slowly build it up again. Keep it short and fun, and remember don’t drill in the heat.
You could attach a fan to their crate, your car etc. Endless breeze makes one you might be able make work for you.
You could make a point of finding shade and lying in it.
Attach solar-reflective panels to your car or tent for added protection from the sun. Use Silver Mesh as a heat reflector. Consider getting aluminum shade panels to add to your tent. PetSupplyHouse here in Canada sells them in black.
Cool mats work well too. SherBert Stuff makes one. I assume that CleanRun does as well but I haven’t looked to see. 🙂
Have to admit, I never really see this as a problem with my girl. Partly because I and my hubbie don’t like the heat so we tend to stay out of it and when I’m at a trial she’s either with me or my hubbie (depending if I’m also working the trial). And she’s, in the summer time, very much an outdoor dog. She spends the entire day outside only coming in when I call her to. She adapts quite nicely to the heat then. So she ends up working in weather that she’s used to, and most runs last less than 60 seconds.
COLD…now that shuts me down so that’s not an issue for us. 🙂 But that’s a whole other topic. 🙂