Got Smoke? Keep your dog busy while protecting it from Wildfire Smoke
Holy smokey days in Kamloops and areas surrounding Harmony Farm Kennel And Lamb this 2021 summer! As I, the entire farm and its livestock, all the kennel’s guest dogs, evacuated dogs, and personal pets, being very grateful survivors of the recent White Rock Lake Fire, I very much appreciate clean fresh healthy air and happy dogs! Much to the dismay of all of us and our pets, our outside time may need to be more limited than usual due to the wildfire smoke this year. So, I thought I’d suggest a few ways to help keep your dogs refreshed, healthy and, entertained in lieu of outdoor exertion.
For the dogs boarding at HFKL I have a few guidelines including walks in the morning and evenings when smoke gets a little clearer with the coolers temps. The evening breeze at Monte Lake often clears the air somewhat. Even better, the gravity-fed irrigation sprinklers that are (thankfully) set all around the property perimeters and surrounding buildings (including the kennel) provide a fresh, brisk air complete with humidity and mist, as well as a beautifully green wet ground for sensitive doggy paws to enjoy!
Here are 5 ideas for keeping your dogs cool, healthy and/or entertained while you protect them from wildfire smoke:
Change your air conditioner filter or add an air purifier to your home
This suggestion will help all the people and pets of your household breathe easier and cleaner air!
Provide your pets with ice toys!
Yes, these are entertaining and easily made by putting water in any size bucket or container, placing a favourite toy inside, and freezing! Just run hot water on the outside to release them from the container and voila! Your dogs will love to lick them, which will help them stay hydrated. They’ll also enjoy the challenge of finding their cool, damp, fun toy hidden inside!
A liquid version of this works great too! In a larger bucket that’s big enough for 6-8” of water (not big enough to climb in though!) add ice cubes to your dog’s water! By also adding their favourite floating toy you will keep them bobbing and well-hydrated while they have fun mouthing their toy. (For water dogs use a sinking toy!)
Note: be sure to have a towel or mat surrounding the water bucket as some dogs can get really enthusiastic with this fun pastime!
This simple doggy game will keep your pooch entertained and busy while kept safe inside from the smokey air. Fill a KONG or a toy with your dog’s kibble or treats, then hide it somewhere for them! Another option is to put the treats into a plastic pop bottle without the cap (oh they do crackle and move in fun unpredictable ways!). Cutting a small hole at the end of an old, worn-out, favourite ball is also another fun choice!
Sprinkler in the Yard
Simply adding a gentle sprinkler in your yard for an hour a day in the heat of the day will help keep your dog entertained and cool. Introduce your dog to a very gentle spray and up the pressure as they start to appreciate its fun, refreshing benefits! The fountain type seems to be their favourite! An added bonus is that after you turn off the sprinkler your grass will be damp and moist for them to enjoy a lay down in for full-body pleasure.
Dish Puzzles and Treat Games
If you’ve never offered your dog an entertaining way to find their food, this smokey summer is an ideal time to try out food-seeking puzzle dishes. They come in all sizes and shapes and a variety of difficulty-levels is offered with some. You just might be amazed how clever your dog becomes with this fun, time-consuming option of feeding. Note – you may want to reduce the amount fed each time and offer a dish selection to change things up every now and then.
Rest assured, come sun, rain, snow, mud, or wildfire smoke, Harmony Farm Kennel at Monte Lake will always come up with creative and adventurous ways to keep your dogs happy, healthy, safe, and having a great time!