Summertime with Wes

Summertime is a great time for fun, time for chilling out, barbeques and swimming pools, and Labradors and Goldens love water, right? Well, many do, but Canine Companions puppy Wes didn’t take to water quite as readily. Puppy raisers Christa and Steve don’t mind – swimming was another great training opportunity! In fact, summer activities offer a ton of wacky socialization opportunities for Canine Companions puppies.

Summer is pretty much around all year for Wes, living in toasty Phoenix, Arizona. His puppy raisers have been following hot weather safety measures since day one. From water safety to hot surfaces, hydration and relaxation, Wes has it covered!


Puppy in pool


Protecting Paws

“Wes is well accustomed to his boots,” Christa states. “He began learning in puppy class as a young puppy. It was quite a sight to behold seeing a whole gaggle of puppies outfitted in their boots. Their legs and paws were flying in all directions as we walked them around. It looked like a hip hoppin’ dance party as the puppies strutted their stuff.” Wes doesn’t just wear his boots to look stylish, no matter how great he truly looks! A good pair of dog boots is a must for dogs in hot weather, especially for working assistance dogs that are out and about in all weather. Surfaces like pavement can burn paws. Christa, Steve and Wes love to avoid the Phoenix summer heat by heading up to the mountains. It’s cooler for everyone, and Wes particularly enjoys the new sights and smells. When he gets home, Wes might be persuaded into the pool, but he’d rather lie in the wading pool with his toys!

Whether you are raising a puppy for Canine Companions® or spending an afternoon out with your pet, here are some tips to keep cool and safe all summer long.

Hot Weather – Things are heating up! Don’t forget:

– Limit outdoor exercise on hot days. Save long walks for early morning or evening when it is light out, but not as hot.
– Avoid hot pavement that can injure the pads on dogs’ feet. Stick to dirt paths or grass.
– Make sure your dog has access to ample shade and fresh, cool water.
– Never leave your dog unattended in a hot car on a summer day—even for a few minutes.
– If you think your dog is showing signs of heat stroke or exhaustion, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Puppy Wes swimming

Swimming Safety – Lifeguard on duty:

– Pools of all sizes are great for dogs to cool off in, but remember not all dogs can swim. Dogs that are tentative to enter the water should never be “flooded” and tossed in the pool. Try starting out with lots of motivation, toys and a plastic baby pool. Get in the pool yourself and show your puppy how it’s done.
– Whenever you encounter a new pool, be sure to show the puppy where and how to enter and exit the pool.
– Always supervise your dog or puppy!
– Remove all equipment (leashes, vests, collars) before allowing pool play. This will keep the puppy from getting caught on others objects or swimmers.
– After swimming, give the puppy’s skin a good rinse with fresh water and a good towel dry. Consider flushing the ears with a cleansing/drying ear rinse and be sure to thoroughly dry the inside of their ears with some cotton.

Learn more about puppy raising.