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Dog Days of Summer

Cool Indoor Fun for the Dog Days of Summer

When it feels like we’re melting every time we go outside, humans can find relief from the blistering temperatures by taking a dip in the apartment pool, but your dog has a much harder time keeping cool in a fur coat! When it’s too hot to take a walk with Fluffy, keep her entertained and get some exercise indoors! Our guide to indoor canine fun will make your dog look forward to days when it’s too hot to go out.

Games for Inside

There are lots of games you can play with your dog inside your apartment. Play Hidden Treasure by hiding some of your dog’s favorite goodies under pillows, between sofa cushions, or under in a favorite blanket and tell Fluffy to “find it”. Dogs also love a game of Hide and Seek – hide from your dog and call her once you are hidden, making her look for you. Have her favorite treat ready when she finds you, and express how happy you are when she does.

Indoor days are a fantastic time to brush up on obedience. Tell Fluffy to sit and stay while you go into another room, and then return with a treat to reward her for waiting. You can also try indoor agility training! Collect pillows, shoe boxes, maybe a laundry basket (be creative with your obstacles to provide an extra challenge), and create an obstacle course in your living room. Teach your dog to move around, over, or under your “obstacles” for treats.

Puzzles with Rewards

Interactive Dog ToyWhen you’re ready for a break from training and games, give Fluffy a food puzzle that will keep her mind engaged. Kong toys are made of tough rubber toys that are empty in the middle so that you stuff them full of treats and make your dog work to get the goodies out. Stuff them with pumpkin or peanut butter and freeze the Kong to give Fluffy a long-lasting treat that is especially delightful on a hot day.

Treat puzzles ask your dog how to open compartments to find a treat. Check out some of the best interactive dog toys of the moment at This Dog’s Life. You can even design your own food puzzle! Find some old worn-out tennis balls and a muffin tin. Place treats in each muffin cup and put a tennis ball in some of the cups so that your dog has to remove the balls to get all the treats. Smart puzzles keep Fluffy occupied while improving her problem-solving skills.

Pup Perfect Ice Cream

Ice cream is perfect for summer – experiment with some flavors created just for Fluffy! Human ice cream can contain ingredients that may harm our pets, but you can make ice cream for your pup in just ten minutes right in your Charlottesville apartment!

Create convenient serving sizes for your dog by freezing your ice cream in an ice tray. Try all four fun flavors!

The following recipes are tasty enough for humans and make 12 servings; adjust the quantities below to suit your personal tastes.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter


• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 2 tbsp peanut butter (no sugar added)
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 32-ounce container of plain yogurt

Doggie Ice CreamDirections:

1. Use a large mixing bowl; add pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and honey. Whisk ingredients until smoothly textured. Melt the peanut butter first to keep it from being too sticky!
2. Fold in yogurt.
3. Place in the freezer to chill for two hours.

Sweet Potato


• Plain yogurt
• Pureed sweet potato
• Peanut butter


1. Place ingredients in a food processor or whisk all ingredients together.
2. Chill in the freezer for two hours or until ready to serve.

Banana Blueberry

Some dogs may have difficulty digesting yogurt. Banana blueberry ice cream includes only two ingredients for sensitive tummies.


• 2 bananas
• 1/2 cup blueberries


1. Peel, slice, and freeze the bananas.
2. Once the bananas are frozen, process with the blueberries in a blender or food processor until the mixture is creamy like ice cream.
3. Serve immediately as a yummy soft serve, or chill in the freezer to allow the ice cream to harden.

Recipes originally appeared in the AMLI blog.

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