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Nutrition Tips for Dogs

Summer Nutrition Tips for Dogs

When temperatures rise in the summer, your dog can really feel the heat. Our four-legged friends can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do, and heat can actually raise their body temperatures to dangerous levels. Keeping your dog cool is, therefore, vital for its well being. There are many different things you can do to help your pup stay cool during the summer, and one of them is providing the right kind of nutrition. These few summer nutrition tips for dogs will help your furry friend cool down this summer.

Light, chilled and frozen

During the summer, it is essential that we take care of our dogs’ diet or else they can suffer from dehydration and several other diseases. We have to make sure that they are healthy, happy and not beating the heat. When the temperatures are rising, your dog may get overheated. Heatstroke, dehydration are normal reactions to heat. For prevention, light, chilled or frozen dog treats are useful and may help your pup cool down (and frozen dog treat are actually quite tasty). These dog-friendly recipes are perfect for cooling down on a hot day:

Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Drops

  • 1 cup (240 ml) peanut butter
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  1. Mash and combine peanut butter and banana in a small bowl.
  2. Mix in water (this will help with the freezing consistency).
  3. Spoon the mixture onto the tray in drops and freeze overnight.
  4. Once frozen, store the treats in a bag or container in the freezer.

Strawberry coconut-milk ice cream

  • 830 ml coconut milk
  • 170 strawberries, washed and dried
  • 60 ml honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cinnamon
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer mixture to a freezer-safe container.
  3. Cover and freeze for several hours, until the consistency of ice cream.

Note: You can try different fruit/yogurt combinations, but don’t forget to wash all fruits and remove the rinds, inedible skins, seeds and peels before feeding them to your dog!

Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes (you can choose your own amount)
  • 15 ml olive oil
  1. Scrub sweet potatoes.
  2. Then, bake them until they become soft.
  3. Add olive oil to the mashed sweet potato, with skin. (It’s simple, healthy and tasty)

Frozen Banana Treats

  • 1 L plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 bananas, ripe, peeled & mashed
  1. Blend all the ingredients to a puree in a food processor.
  2. Pour into small plastic cups.
  3. Freeze until firm.
  4. Pop the treat out of the cup and watch your dog enjoy!

Chicken pops

  • 2 Chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (or how ever much you have on hand)
  • 1/2 L water
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  1. Divide your cooked and chopped chicken in small cups, about 1/4 cup of chicken in each.
  2. In a small bowl mix the water and dried parsley.
  3. Divide the water mixture the cups.
  4. Freeze for 8 hours to allow them to fully set.
  5. You can run warm water around the mold to remove the popsicle from the cup.

Note: Frozen summer treats encourage your dog to take in more fluids and help keep it cool. You can also feed your dog wet dog food during the summer to increase its fluid intake.

Less is better

When the weather is hot, it takes less calories to keep warm. Therefore, the need for food is less. It’s the same for us. In the summer we tend to eat lighter. Light summer salads, cold soups, cold drinks, cold potato salad, and coleslaw. So pay attention to your dog. If he’s not as hungry in the summer, don’t be concerned. When it’s too hot, your pup don’t need the same amount of calories from food to keep warm.

Water, water, water!

In addition to overheating, pets can get dehydrated quickly. You can prevent dehydration by providing your dog with unrestricted access to fresh and cool water both indoors and outside.  To encourage your dog to drink more on hot days, place more water bowls around in the house and garden, and resupply the cold water. Some people fill a dog bowl or bucket and freeze it overnight. As it melts during the day, it provides a steady supply of refreshing, cold water. You can also freeze, or simply chill, water in the refrigerator in water bottles and add the melting or chilled water to your dog’s water periodically throughout the day. Adding ice cubes to your dog’s bowl may also be a good idea. Don’t forget to change your dog’s water more often during hot weather.

Summer exercise

Tractive MOTION

Even during the hot summer months, daily exercise for all dogs is important for maintaining general health and behavioral well being. Just after sunrise and just before sunset are the best times to take your dog for a run or a long walk, as the temperatures are lower. By taking your daily walk or run either before or after the sun is at its hottest, the air will be easier for your pet to breathe and the ground will be cooler on the pads of their paws. If you want to know whether or not your pet gets enough exercise during the summer, Tractive MOTION will let you know. Tractive MOTION tracks your pet’s activity 24 hours a day and provides you with detailed statistics of your pet’s fitness and health.  The device categorizes the movements of your pet in three categories ‘lazy’, ‘moderately active’ and ‘active’, and tells you whether or not your pet needs to be more active. You can also set a daily goal of Pet Points (calculation of steps, movements, and playtime) and see the progress towards the daily goal directly on your smartphone.

Ideal dog exercise locations are shaded parks or lawns near a pond, river, or pool. Beaches are usually cooler than inland areas, and both lakes and oceans allow dogs to cool off whenever they like. If your dog is a swimmer, let him rest in the shade after playing in water. At home, a plastic wading pool can be a perfect place to dip, chill and cool down.

If you have any summer tips or dog-friendly summer recipes, please share with us  in the comment field below 🙂



Sarah is a Certified Fitness Trainer, pet lover and the happy owner of a 2-year-old Japanese Spitz named Bailey. Sarah spends a lot of time outdoors, running, hiking and biking. She loves inspiring Tractives all over the world with weekly pet tricks and tips.

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