Friday, June 6, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer

We can't believe Summer is FINALLY here! There were some days when it was 2 degrees outside when it seemed like we may never get warm weather again, but now we have the A/C blasting! I'm sure we'll be sick of the sticky humidity and praying for snow again by September, but in the meantime it's all early Summer spirit over at LHBW HQ!!

Maybe I was a little overzealous with the air conditioning this day.
Of course with Summer in New York comes an infinite number of pup-friendly activities, such as waiting in the Shakespeare in the Park line (we'll cover that after our first trek for Much Ado About Nothing tickets later this month!), sharing a couple licks of fro yo at Forty Carrots (or a pup friendly custard at Shake Shack), or just enjoying the sunshine with alfresco drinks or dining. But fun in the sun can also mean dehydration, irritated paws from the scalding pavement, and visits from biting insects like mosquitoes and ticks. Below are some of our tips on how to have fun in the sun while staying safe!

1. If possible, try to do the most walking early in the morning or after dusk, when the temperatures aren't as hot and the sidewalks have a chance to cool down.

We love to take early Summer morning jaunts to the Park, where the "Central Pack" runs off leash until 9am (though we stay on leash to protect the New York squirrel population). The park even hosts "Bagel and Bark" events with breakfast for humans and pups during the warmer months, providing a chance to socialize in sweatpants, which isn't something that happens nearly often enough!

Holly loves Central Park on the weekends!
In hot pursuit of an unsuspecting squirrel.
2. If you must walk during the day, be sure to take frequent breaks for water and paw protection.

I was so excited when I saw these sandals at Petco, thinking that my Summer pavement meets paw problems were solved forever. Of course, if you have ever tried to put a sandal on a chihuahua, you can imagine how that ended (even if you haven't, I'm sure you can guess...not well). So in lieu of proper footwear to beat the heat, I make sure if I am out with Holly during the day that we stop into dog friendly stores en route to our destination to give her little paws a break from the scalding pavement. I also carry a water bottle with me to provide consistent hydration without having to rely on the yucky shared water bowls sitting outside of stores (though Holly, in true Holly fashion, immensely enjoyed the one inside the Ralph Lauren store and proceeded to splash water all over the marble floor). 

This Dog Is Good water bottle comes with a roller ball that allows dogs to lick for water without spilling (much).
3. Prepare for Summer rain with a lightweight, packable coat.

Just because it's warm out doesn't mean Holly enjoys going out in the rain anymore than usual! My mom found an adorable Fab Dog rain coat for her that is lightweight enough for hot Summer days and also folds into a handy pouch that can be tossed in our bag in case we are surprised with a sudden shower. 
Of course an added bonus is how snazzy Holly looks in it!
4. Be prepared for mosquitoes and ticks by protecting your dog before you leave home.

I have Holly on heartworm medication year round to protect her from the harmful parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes. Once it warms up, I use a natural product for flea and tick defense rather than traditional pesticides, because I didn't like the idea of using chemicals on Holly given that she is only in areas with tick danger a few days out of the year. The spray I use is more high maintenance than the monthly application of chemical repellents (it must be re-applied every 3-4 days or after excessive sweating or bathing), but it's natural ingredients include cinnamon which smells incredible, so I don't mind giving Holly a quick spritz before we head out the door!  

Naturally pest free (and smelling like a Cinnabon!)
What are your Summer essentials for your pet? Do you have any tips for keeping them safe when the mercury rises?

Until Next Time, Darlings!


  1. this is so cute! love your dog and I do a lot of activities with my dog so this was fun to read

    1. Thanks Carley! I'm glad you enjoyed it :) . Isn't it fun to take your pup on adventures, especially when it's nice enough to be outside? Thanks for stopping by!!