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A Hot Dog, But Without The Onions, Mustard And Mayo

Aug 17, 2007
It's no joke walking around with a fur coat on with the temperatures soaring to the nineties that's in Fahrenheit or old money for us seniors. If you've ever wondered what it's like wrap several blankets around yourself and go out there and try it. You feel as if you are suffocating in no time at all, so think what your pet feels like if they can't escape from it.

This is the point at which I usually get on my bandwagon about leaving dogs in cars, about what I would do to anyone I caught doing this in even moderately hot weather. The language is deplorable and the graphics are very bloody and involve a lot of pain, so I'm going to spare you that for the moment. Because and only because, I want to give you some helpful little tips for keeping your dogs and cats or other furry lovelies for that matter, cooler as the temperatures climb.These simple tips will help keep them cooler on even the hottest days.

If possible, let your animals come inside during the worst heat every day. Early afternoon is the hottest time of day for any living thing. Letting your cats or dogs soak up some air conditioning or even a fan for a few hours every day will keep them cool and stop your worrying. I always put them into a room on the other side of the house from the sun. The blinds or curtains in that room will have been closed from early morning although the windows will be open behind them if I have no aircon. I then place a fan in front of the open window area and let it draw in the fresh air. If your dog insists on following you around all the time and won't stay in this room then you may have to put a small barrier in their way to stop them. But I never actually close the door on them.

If they really can't come inside then they must have shelter of some kind to completely escape from the sun. And I know it's obvious but please remember that the sun moves around. They may have had some shade when you left them outside in the morning but will they still have it if you are not going to be home until late afternoon. Make sure that your pets have access to shady spots at all times. Trees are the best sources of protection from the sun. If that isn't possible, make sure that your pet can get under a covered area, such as a patio or porch.

Keep the pet's water supply cool and fresh. The water will heat up as the day passes, so either change the dish often or invest in an auto-watering system. Many models attach to your outdoor water faucet so as your pet depletes the water supply, the system adds more without overflowing or making a mess. This goes too for the water inside the house. I even put ice cubes into my dog's water during the day as he also thinks they are fun too but I do hate the crunching afterwards.

Never leave your animal in a car, even for just a few minutes. The temperature inside the vehicle quickly rises to the point where any living thing inside will either die or become very, very sick. Even if you park in the shade and leave the windows down an inch or two, you're still putting your beloved pet at risk . Please do not do it. You should leave your dog at home where he can stay in the shade or inside and have plenty of access to fresh, cool water. You may feel like a bad person making them stay at home but be strong, you know it's the right thing to do for them.

Don't expect your pets to be playful or overly active on hot days. They don't need to over exert themselves any more than you do. Like humans, pets can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat strokes. But do make sure that their water intake is good. If they appear to be drinking less than normal, try to encourage them. If they really do stop drinking then get them to the vets quickly.

Some pets love to swim. Provide these animals with a kid's wading pool so that they can cool off whenever they get too hot. You can also take your dog with you on trips to the lake or other body of water. If he loves to swim, the cool water will be great. The time he gets to spend with his human masters only makes the experience better for everybody.

You might be tempted to shave off all of your pet's hair, but this is not a good idea. The hair protects your animal's skin from the sun. The hair also helps channel cool air to your pet's skin, which helps him stay cooler. Instead of buzzing everything, trim the hair to a shorter length. A professional groomer can do this cheaply and properly. Some dogs even get sun burn on their noses, so if your dog is a sun worshipper then keep an eye out. My neighbor has pigs and horses and she is often out there putting on the sun cream, it's a real scream.

If your pet seems sick or otherwise abnormal, call your veterinarian immediately. If your cat or dog is dehydrated or is suffering from heat exhaustion, he'll need quick treatment to get well again.
My dog doesn't like the summer very much so I consider it my duty to make sure that he's as comfortable as he can be. I only walk him early morning and evening when the worst of the sun has gone. If I have to I will make him stay inside for his own good. I am prepared to be cruel to be kind because he's so important to me. Now you need to do your bit.
About the Author
Debbie Boffa has spent years raising and training rescue dogs. Her new book 'Dog Obedience Training' and a new website http://www.trainingdogsrus.com are the result. She'd love to see you there to get your FREE dog training tips
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