Last week I competed in a Nose Work Trial where the temperature was in the 90’s with high humidity, so I thought today I would share my 5 tips to keep your dog cool at a summer competition. Before I get to my tips, I have to tell everyone I’m so proud to have earned my NACSW NW1 Title!
I am the first GBGV to earn a Level 1 Vehicle Title, and now I’m the first GBGV to earn an NW1 Title. I worked really hard, and Mom is getting better at trusting me. Together we attained our goal! We are so very excited and proud! To earn an NW1 Title, I had to find the birch hide in four different search areas: interior, exterior, container, and vehicle, each having their own time limit. I am not fast, I prefer slow and steady, so I didn’t earn any speed awards, but my total time for all four searches was two minutes, four seconds, pretty much middle of the pack.
The interior and container searches were held in the Meadows Chalet, the exterior and vehicle searches were held on the outskirts of the chalet. I will have some photos of, and post more about my searches when we get the photos from the photographer in a couple weeks.
Being July, there was no snow at this ski resort, and with a heat index forecast of around 100 degrees, we had to pack to stay cool. Dogs are required to be in a kennel or restrained in a vehicle unless it is their turn to compete. We didn’t have anything fancy, but I was able to remain pretty cool all day, and cool enough to work whenever it was my turn to search. My tips are as follows:
- Bring plenty of fresh water and a water bowl. If possible refrigerate or freeze the water beforehand and keep it in a cooler during the event.
- Get a battery operated fan, and bring along extra batteries.
- We bring along my Kool Collar and ice cubes which we keep in the cooler. Some dogs like to wear cool coats, or lie on cooling mats.
- One way to cool off a hot dog is to put their paws in some water. You can bring along a flat tub or pan of some sort to put cold water in, and let the dog stand in it for a few minutes to cool down.
- Many people like to use reflective sun shades or they put EZ Up tents over their cars to keep things cool.
We used tips one, two, and three and it was plenty for me. My Kool Collar needed to be refilled with ice six times over the course of about five hours, but it really felt good, and most importantly, it matched my harness!
Many people were worried about the heat, but the dogs all did great and there were no incidents with the heat. It really isn’t all that difficult to keep your dog cool if you plan ahead. Don’t let the heat keep you and your dog from going out on a hot day, just prepare and keep a close watch on your dog! At the end of the day, I was one happy, chilled out hound, in the back of our car, with a brand new Title!
I’m co hosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!