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Keep your dog cool. July 15, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in pets, wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood cherish our black German shepherd, Pioneer Hawk’s Haven Shiloh von Shiloh Special (that’s just Shiloh to you). And between our increasingly hot, humid Pennsylvania summers (at this point, 90-degree days in late May aren’t unusual; thanks, global warming) and her black coat, we’re always concerned about helping her keep her cool as the weather heats up. If you have a dog, we recommend these tips:

* Keep your dog cool in the car. Obviously, you never want to leave a dog in a car in hot weather. Everyone knows this, right?! Even with the windows partially open, a dog can die from overheating very quickly in a car. The only time it’s safe to keep a dog idling in a car is when one of you is also in there and the a/c is running. 

* Have water, will travel. If you’re out running errands in the summer heat, you know how quickly you dehydrate and desperately need some cold water, iced tea, Vitamin Water or whatever. Your dog does, too. Always carry a water bowl when you travel with your dog, even if it’s just to run errands around town, and either keep chilled water in a cooler or buy him or her a bottle of cold water as you make your rounds and let him or her out to enjoy it in the bowl. S/he probably needs a bathroom break, too.

* Puppy pools are cool. We bought Shiloh a big red kiddie pool at a secondhand kids’ stuff store. The owner told us she couldn’t keep the pools in stock because dog owners were always snapping them up. Shiloh loves her pool, and we know your dog would, too.

* Pupsicles are always appreciated. More and more savvy ice cream stands are offering dog-friendly options along with their people-friendly selections. These are usually vanilla, but can also be unsweetened meat-flavored ice treats. Our friend Ben and Silence have seen two brands of frozen dog treats in the ice cream section at our local grocery as well. Dogs love them all, as well as ice cubes to lick in hot weather (you can add them to their water dish) or a spoon of your own vanilla ice cream. Remember, though, never give a dog chocolate- or caffeine-containing ice cream; they’re definitely not dog-friendly.

* Wring ’em out. Pouring ice water on your dog’s bandanna and wrapping it around his or her neck: Aaaahhh!

* Point and shoot. Our friend Ben has a thing about water pistols; he has a green fluorescent model that he loves to load with cold water and then fire at an appreciative Shiloh. Another option we approve of is to stoke a spray bottle with cold water and ice and then spray it on ourselves and on our dog every 15 minutes or so.

* Keep them inside. We limit our own outdoor time when the temperature climbs above 80 degrees; we can’t stand staying out too long in the heat and humidity. And mind you, we’re not wearing fur coats! We strongly, very strongly, recommend that you keep your dog indoors in hot weather. In conditions where you’re comfortable, hopefully your beloved canine companion will be, too.

Please sound off if you have other great ideas for keeping dogs cool in hot weather!

Comments»

1. Nell Jean - July 15, 2011

Our dog cools off when she’s outside by lying in front of the electric fan on the carport until I come from my outside tasks to let her back in the house. The cat is not a housecat. The fan is for him. He lies under the car in front of where the fan blows.

Thanks, Nell Jean! A fan is a great idea for keeping pets cool. Ours love to lie on the rug under our ceiling fan!


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