You may have heard the adage “A tired dog is a good dog.” But when it’s too hot outside to provide normal walks or runs, keeping dogs’ minds and bodies exercised can be a challenge. You’ll find some ideas for physical and mental games to help achieve a tired dog on the Top Notch Dog Facebook page.

A classic way to occupy your pooch in the heat is the Pupsicle. (If memory serves I first heard of a similar thing at the 1999 Association of Pet Dog Trainers conference. I am lucky to be in a profession in which conference proceedings involve learning how to stuff Kongs.)

Here’s the quick and easy version. You will need:

a Kong toy (widely available)

broth (it’s easy to find low-sodium, pre-made broth nowadays)

a bit of cheese

a coffee mug

Block the tiny hole of the Kong with a glob of cheese (this prevents leakage during the freezing process). Place the Kong, large opening up, in a coffee mug (this keeps it upright and catches any spillage). Pour broth to fill the Kong. Place in freezer until solid.

Optional: To make it more interesting and challenging, fill half full with broth, freeze. Add a layer of cheese or other tidbits. Top with more broth and freeze.

Present to your dog when you want to keep him busy. The thick rubber of the Kong keeps the broth from melting quickly, so it’s not as messy as you’d think. Most dogs lick at the Kong for quite a while, giving you some quiet time to think about things like snow…

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