Summer is officially here! While we may be excited about warm temperatures, laying poolside (or beachside), BBQs, vacation, popsicles, and everything awesome that comes with this season, our furry friends may not be so keen. After all, their fur makes staying cool a challenge.
Just like you, water makes up about 75% of a dog's weight. So staying hydrated is important, especially during hot weather. Since most fruits are 70-90 percent water and packed with antioxidants and nutrients, they are perfect for keeping pups cool and refreshed. So in this vein, we wanted to share with you a few treats you can share with your dogs this summer to keep them happy and hydrated whilst you're enjoying the heat.
Of course the first thing that comes to mind for hydration is water. You can put a fun twist on hydration with coconut water. While there's no substitute for water, itself, coconut water can be a nice treat for your dog. It's full of electrolytes that can help keep your dog hydrated and even give them a boost of energy, as it's full of nutrients like potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. (link)
Like all new foods and drinks you add to your pet's diet, coconut water should be introduced gradually to see how their system reacts to it. A few ounces a day as a treat or to help keep your dog hydrated on hot days is all you need. You can even freeze coconut water into ice cubes for and extra cool treat on the hotter days. Note: read the ingredients of the bottle and make sure you're purchasing a brand without sugar additives. There should only be one ingredient: coconut water.
A classic summer staple is the sweet fruit watermelon. You and your dog can enjoy this juicy treat together. Since watermelon is made of 92% water, the delicious fruit is great for keeping dogs hydrated and preventing heat stroke. Watermelon is not only refreshing, but packed full of vitamins that can help with your pup's health. This fruit contains vitamins A, B6, and C, which can help make your dog's coat shiny and keep their teeth in good shape. Note: be sure to remove all of the seeds before giving a serving to your pup. The seeds from watermelon can cause intestinal discomfort or even a blockage.
Let's not forget about our veggies! Carrots are a healthy snack for humans and dogs, as well as an excellent substitute for traditional dog treats. They're low in calories, high in fiber, and a great source of vitamin A and potassium. Since we're talking about staying cool, consider feeding your furry friend raw carrots. Make sure the carrot is cut into bite sized pieces to prevent choking. If you have a puppy at home, frozen carrots can also help soothe their gums during their teething stage.
Bananas are an amazing fruit for not only you to enjoy, but also your fur friend. A banana can give an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy, along with being a heart-healthy treat. It comes as no surprise that they are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6. What makes bananas so great is they are low in sodium, cholesterol, and fat. Like many other fruits, they do contain a fair amount of sugar, so it's important to limit your pooches intake of this tasty summer treat. If you're feeling like taking this fruit to the next level for your pup, you can make a pup-sicle in a few easy steps. Check out our 5 Ingredient Pup-sicle video to learn how to create the perfect summer treat.
They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This idiom can apply to dogs, as well. Apples are high in fiber and low in calories, plus they are naturally sweet! Just like most of the other fruits on our list, apples have essential vitamins for your pup, such as vitamins A and C. Apples also aid in keeping a dog's teeth clean and freshen their puppy breath. Apples are also rich in electrolytes, keeping your pet nice and hydrated. A popular treat for humans, apple slices and peanut butter is a great snack you can also share with you dog. Make sure you remove the core and seeds before feeding pieces to your dog. If you have a senior dog or one on a special diet, consider unsweetened or homemade applesauce.
This classic Fall staple is food you can give your pets all year long. Pumpkin not only tastes great, but also has a ton of health benefits for your pooch. It is high in fiber and does wonders for the digestive system. It's rich in fatty acids, which is great for their skin and fur. Pumpkin also contains beta-carotene, antioxidants, and tons of healthy minerals. Make sure you stay away from ones with added spices, fats and sugars though; plain, canned pureed pumpkin is the best choice for your pup. Not sure how to integrate it into your dog's diet? Add a tablespoon to your dog's usual meal. Or if you want to get fancy, try making your dog her/his own treats! Check out our blog dedicated to the benefits of pumpkin for your pooch, along with fun recipes for you to try!
Often called a “superfood,” blueberries are just as good for dogs as they are for humans. Their bright color indicates high antioxidant levels, which keeps pets' immune systems in tip-top shape. Loaded with a ton of fiber in every serving, blueberries are perfect for senior pets. Their relatively low sugar content makes them a healthy snack for your pups (and you!). Quick tip: pop a few blueberries in the freezer, and you now have a refreshing, crunchy, summer treat for your pet to enjoy.
We hope some of these refreshing summer treats help you and your pet beat the heat… and bond while doing so!
Summer is also the perfect time to give back. Many animals are in rescues and shelters waiting for their forever family with whom they can also relax and eat pup-sicles. If you're not ready to adopt quite yet, consider helping a rescue pet by purchasing items from their wishlist. It's important for dogs to have clean bowls for water, clean beds and blankets, flea medication, and so much more. Check out all of our pets' wishlists HERE were you can help them fight the summer heat!