|Dog by lisa runnels|
First the basics in tips 1 & 2 are general safety. Followed by 3-10 tips for keeping dogs cool:
Dogs do not have the same sweat system we have. They cool off through the pads of their feet and their belly.
1) Always keep a pet first aid kit around and it should include two thermometers (in case one breaks down). Keep one in the car and one in the house. A dogs temperature is taken rectally and at 104 emergency cool down is necessary (think bath of cool water or garden hose). AT 106 you need emergency veterinarian care. For signs of heat stroke check this article. CALL VET IMMEDIATELY. Have a print out of emergency procedures kept in your kits for reference. You can use this one AKC emeg/first aid.
2) Never leave a dog in car.... if you see a dog in a car call the police as time is crucial in hot weather.
3) Build a sun shade/misted area..... This can be as simple as draping a sheet over fencing or having a small kennel with mesh shading added to it. Add misters or sprinklers along the fence line or around the kennel to wet down the sheeting. This should lower temp by several degrees. If you do not have misters try using a hose with nozzle set on mist and jerry-rig it to keep area cool. If mosquitoes are out you will need protection check out the MOSQUITO POWER MISTER (no affiliation). A portable swamp cooler can also be used in an enclosed sun shade area to replace the misters.
4) A swamp cooler (or evaporative cooler) hooked up to constant water source, can aid in keep small area cooler. A large kennel with sheets draped on tops and sun exposed sides will shade inside a kennel. Have a swamp cooler set up and blowing into protected area creates a 15-20 degree cooler area for your pets.When humidity arrives the swamp cooler will not be as effective. And a cooler sheltered area will be needed. If design of swamp cooler allows, you can add ice cubes to melt into the water.
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6) Have plenty of fresh water available. Use a large container and add a frozen block of ice that will melt into the dish. You can also use a special dish hooked to water supply - check pet stores or feed stores. Our dogs are brilliant and adjusted to the water nipple (no affiliation) that attaches to a spigot. The dogs never went without adequate water. Check your local stores for this handy cool tool.
7) A kid's swimming pool can be filled with several inches of water for Fido to cool off in. You can even use the bottom half of a plastic dog crate, or cut out rubber-maid container, if you can't locate cheap kiddie pool. Even leaving the hose to drip on the patio provides a cooler area for Fido. Keep water out of the ears to avoid ear infections. If you have a pool, teach your dog to swim.
8) When taking that all important WALK with Fido, use paw protectors if pavement is hot to touch. Some places allow dogs to walk and you can check with the managers of Lowes and Home Depot or Pet Smart to make sure it is okay to bring your well behaved, non-aggressive, and leashed dog. The store floors are going to feel so great to those padded paws! Walking in cooler grass is a better option than hot cement so check out the local parks too.
|Dog by Elodie Marnot|
9) . Order and use a Cooling VEST *(no affiliation ). You can also wet towels down and keep them in the ice chest to throw on the belly to help cool down. There are other cooling tools like a cooling bed.(no affiliation). Walk during the coolest part of the day, early morning at sunrise. OR, buy a used treadmill and train your dog to walk on it. Other alternatives for exercise are to take your dog swimming, or set up the sprinkler and play Frisbee or fetch in the sprinkler.
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Most of all have a great wonderful summer with your dog, swim lots, and stay safe! These are all tips that we have used successfully. See you soon.