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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kiddie Pool Fun for Your Toy-Breed Dogs

by Carrie Boyko

(c) reader's photo copyright on file
Juliet Loves her Kiddie Pool
If you're like many of my readers, you have multiple, toy-breed dogs, or neighbors with pups that like to drop in for some fun. A great way to keep the whole gang happy and busy on a hot summer day is with a kiddie pool. They're perfect for little dogs, so there's no worries about drowning, and even big dogs can enjoy splashing and dunking their floating toys.

Here's a game we played at a dog party once, that you may enjoy trying when you're hosting a group of pups for some water fun:

  • Fill up your kiddie pool early in the day so the water can warm up to an inviting temperature for little dogs that chill easily.
  • Collect all your floating toys, balls and such and put them all in the pool.
  • Just about the time your gang gets bored (where are all the toys?!!!) you can take them outside and introduce them to the new game.
  • Using a treat pouch or pocket, stow some kibble or treats to encourage their 'fetching' game. Each time a pup pulls a toy from the pool, treat him and tell him what a good boy he is is for fetching the toy.
  • Pretty soon they'll all get the idea and start jumping in to pull the toys out of the pool, and then race to you for their treat. You'll have to be fast, tossing the toys back in, but it's fun to watch their little minds working. This game gets them moving quickly and using their problem solving skills to get toys out and treats as quickly as possible.
  • If you're lucky enough to have a friend to man the camera, this could make for a great photo shoot. Snag your neighbor dog's 'mom' and ask her for a little help. She's sure to enjoy the party as much as the dogs do.
© reader copyright on file
Time to Get Out and Dry Off...
A few tips for clean up time:
  • Before you start, be sure to have a stack of old towels for drying off soggy doggies.
  • Don't just dump the water. Use it purposefully. Bucketfuls are great for watering house plants or your vegetable garden. The last bucketful can be used to wash the car. You get the idea.
  • Tip the pool up on its side to drain, and also keep it from collecting all sorts of dirt, leaves and bugs. Next time, it will be ready to go.
  • Finally, use an old-fashioned milk carton case to toss the toys into for drying, and place them out of the way of any possible rain. They can come back inside tomorrow for another game--perhaps the Muffin Tin Game? It's one of my Oliver's new favorites.
Before I sign off, here's one final idea. If you're not well-stocked on floating toys, try ice cubes. Most little dogs love to retrieve and eat ice cubes, and this game will have its own reward--no treats required. It's not the same frenzied fun, but it works the same way. Happy tails!

Looking for more water fun? Here's some related reading:

Teaching Your Dog to Fetch
Safe and Happy July 4th Celebrations for Your Dogs

Finally, Tanner has a few comments over at 5 Minutes for Fido. As usual, my boy is looking out for his little buddy Oliver. They're rather like the the Captain and Gilligan!
Help protect our precious dog parks
© Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

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Jenory said...

Dogs are really lucky, aren't they? They are called man's best friend so you expect that everything the owner has, the dogs also have it...For most dog owners at least. Look at the inflatable pool - you don't see a kid in there but a cute dog.

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