Have you noticed that your dog reduces his appetite during the hot summer days? Has your super, bouncy pet suddenly dropped from eating 4 meals a day to not eating at all, making his owner crazy with worry? Don’t be concerned, it’s quite normal for your pet to decide to eat a smaller amount of food during the summer season when he is less active. Depending on his lifestyle, breed and age, your dog’s behaviour will change during the warmer season when he will use less energy and rest more. As long as you are giving them nutritious meals, they are staying cool and hydrated and maintain their bodyweight, your dog will eat when they need to, and only as much as they need.
Food ideas for hot weather
During the sunny weather, there are many ways that you can keep your dog cool. Your dog will love the surprise of a frozen or chilled doggy treat. They will not only cool him down, but can also help with him being bored when he’s kept indoors during the heat of the day. You could also try these other cold, healthy treats that your pet will love.
Ice cream for dogs – Mix together plain yoghurt, 1 large spoonful of peanut butter and 1 mashed banana, then freeze into suitable shaped containers. Experiment with other additions, such as lean meat, apples or finely chopped carrots.
Meaty ice pops – Freeze beef or chicken broth (with no onions or added salt) into ice cube trays for a delicious tasty, cooling treat. Chunks of frozen watermelon (seeds removed) are also a perfect frozen snack – you might enjoy them too.
Kong toy stuffed with frozen food – These rubber, cone shaped toys with a hollow centre are amazing for filling with a variety of food stuffs, and when frozen become a brilliant, cooling plaything for your dog. The options are endless: fill it with canned dog food, bananas, yoghurt, shredded chicken or chopped fruit and vegetables. Freeze for a minimum of two hours, or overnight for an even harder treat suitable for serious chewers.
Melon – Honeydew and seedless watermelon are both high in moisture content, and cool the dog from the inside.
Ginger root – Chop very finely and freeze with watermelon juice in ice cube trays for a soothing, anti-inflammatory snack
Fresh, whole carrot – A refreshing summer chew treat, but make sure you don’t leave him alone while chewing, as they can be a choking hazard, just like bones.
Green beans – While you might not think of your dog as a veggie lover, given whole they will enjoy these crunchy treats, which also provide a good source of fibre.
Radishes – Used frequently in Chinese medicine, to help with bodily functions such as draining and cooling.
Grilled meat – If you’re having a BBQ pop on some chicken for your dog. Don’t add any spicy sauces, and avoid the garlic and onions. Also avoid bones and skewers, which can cause a choking danger if swallowed.
Water – An absolute summer essential for your dog. Your pet will love ice cubes in his drinking water, or try making him an ice “pancake” by placing water in a plastic bag and keeping it flat in the freezer until frozen solid.
Whichever tasty, chilling treat you choose to give your dog, remember that snacks should only make up around 10% of your pet’s daily diet. If you feed him treats, adjust his other meal allowances to avoid weight gain from these additional calories.
Feed in the shade
If your dog eats his meal outdoors, keep him out of full sun and in a shady area. You could also move his meal time until later in the evening, when the sun has gone down. He probably won’t mind what time he eats, but would much prefer to eat when it’s cooler.
Please note, it’s always advisable to check with your Vet before you introduce any new foods into your pet’s feeding routine.