Dogs and temperatures as we are currently experiencing (July 2018, Belgium) … they do not like it. For example, dogs only sweat through their tongue or through their soles. When the outside is (proverbial) 180 ° C, it is not easy for a person to get rid of excess heat … for your four-legged friend, however, this is still 100 times more difficult.
In short: dogs always need extra attention (read: cooling) at temperatures above 25 ° C. First of all, you must, of course, ensure that he/she has access to fresh drinking water at all times. Something you also have to provide if it is less hot. That speaks for itself.
There is more …
Self-cooling mat for dogs
Another thing that can help is a so-called ‘cooling mat.’ There are different brands and types for sale where you can make a choice. So you have ‘cooling mats’ that cool down as soon as your dog lies on it. The weight of your dog then activates the contents of the cooling mat. With a kind of synthetic gel. Although we honestly do not know the fine of it.
Other types of cooling mats are activated by placing them in water in advance (or pouring them with cold water), after which the ‘gel pad’ absorbs the water and then releases the cooling.
In both cases, your dog will probably have to get used to the mat, but that goes pretty quickly. It helps, for example, when you put the favorite toy of your dog on the mat. Or by placing it on the spot where he or she usually lies. Either your couch or another chair or his regular lying mat. In the long run, he will be aware of the benefits of the coolness and will increasingly want to lie down on it.
For our Snoopy, we have tried both types of cooling mats. Both (he and we) give the final preference to the last model. So the cooling mat that you have to dip in water and have to absorb and dry (briefly). Also because the ‘pressure cooling mat’ became as hard as steel after a few months.
Although it may just be that we have left them in the sun for too long 😉
NEVER leave your dog in the car!
Or to describe it more nuanced: never leave your dog in the car at temperatures above 20 (!) ° C. Perhaps that is a temperature that you, as a person, still experience as ‘moderate’ or even cooler … for dogs, however, that is already warm enough. Do not forget that it’s harder for them to “sweat” than for us humans.
So you can imagine what it means for a dog to sit in a car in hot weather (or worse: a real heat wave) which – to make matters worse – is parked in the sun. It is absolutely dangerous, all too often deadly and thus … criminal.
You would, therefore, expect people who share their lives with a dog are aware of this. Unfortunately, you hear news reports about the dogs died this way every summer. And that does us every time such a terrible pain :-/
Of course, we are not so naïve that we think that 1 article and 1 warning sentence will change that a lot, but well … it can not be repeated often enough.
Were you not (yet) aware of this? Be sure to print it in your head:
Never leave your dog in the car at temperatures above 20-22 °C! So also not to do ‘quick’ shopping. No, don’t do this for a minute at the mentioned temperatures (even if you put the cooling mat – mentioned above – in the car).
Making dog ice cream (and can that be vegan?)
A lot more positive than the previous topic is making a dog ice cream. Not only do people love ice cream! And because dogs sweat mainly through their tongues, you may be able to imagine how wonderful licking such an ice-cold delicacy should feel for your four-legged friend.
A perfect cooling agent so 🙂
When it comes to the health of your dog, you must, of course, take into account a number of things. Although it obviously doesn’t hurt to let your dog lick some (vegan) ice from your finger once, larger amounts of sugar-containing ice cream are not a good idea. Whether sugar is healthy for a person is already a matter of debate for a long time … for your dog, it is certainly NOT.
In the meantime, you will also see online recipes for dog ice cream that often contain yogurt or other dairy products. Do not let yourself be caught, because lactose is very detrimental to your dog.
Even for you as a person, by the way … but that a) you already knew or b) is another discussion. The same is for meat and fish … we also have another article about this 😉
Anyway, for making a dog ice cream you can, therefore, work as naturally (and lactose and sugar-free) as possible. Be also always moderate with giving extras like this. It may well be good for your dog, but you should never overdo anything with it.
Anyway, we made a dog ice cream with only 2 ingredients that dogs are absolutely fond of, and that (moderate use) certainly cannot hurt either. On the contrary. We are talking about (frozen) banana and sweet potato!
How do you make it? Super simple. Here is the recipe:
Dog ice cream with banana and sweet potato
- 1 big sweet potato
- 2 bananas
- Peel the bananas and cut them into thin slices or small cubes. Put them in a deep-freeze-proof and lockable box and place in the freezer until they are completely frozen.
- Peel the sweet potato and cut into small cubes. Cook them in a pot with water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Put the frozen pieces of banana in your food processor (use the chopping function) and chop them to a smooth mass. The structure will first be crumbly, but that will change quickly.
- Add the cooled sweet potato cubes and mix again into a smooth ice cream. Place it in the deep freezer for another half an hour (again in a closed container) to stiffen.
- Serve a scoop of ice cream in a bowl and let your dog enjoy!
You can keep the rest of the ice in the freezer until the next day. After 2 days it will be much too hard to be able to scoop out properly.
What, by the way, is not a hindrance for your dog to have a nice taste of it 😉
Oh yes: whether Snoopy liked it? We could only prove that better, huh? 😉 (last part of the video)
Have you spoiled your best friend with such a delicious ice cream? Do you know any other useful tips for a cool and pleasant dog life? Share it here below!