Metro Pets

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

With the temperature soaring in summer, it’s simple to keep my dog Darby cool with a few common sense tips. Sometimes, I take my cue from my dog herself — she usually finds the breeziest spot in the house (the bathroom because of the cool tile) and will paw me and let me know when her water bowl is empty.

Always have fresh cool water in your pet’s bowl, and drop in a couple of ice-cubes as an added treat. When you’re not home, put out an extra water bowl. Or get the Drinkwell Pet Fountain (www.VetVentures.com for continuous fresh water).

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Darby loves the water and she enjoys every chance to jump into a pond, lake or ocean. Dogs and cats sweat through their paws. Keep them cool by placing their paws in a bowl or bucket of water. If they squirm (cats hate water after all) you can take an ice cube and rub it over they paws. Or even fill your bath with a couple of inches of cold H2O and place your pet in the tub.

When I’m at the beach, I always bring a small misting bottle. It’s also a great way to cool your pet; a couple of sprays on their fur will make them feel refreshed. And at the beach, I always wear sunscreen, a piece of advice that applies to pets as well. Any dog can get sunburned, especially dogs with short hair or has a short cut for the summer. Use Doggles Pet Sunscreen (www.Doggles.com) which is non-oily and non-irritating. Any time your dog is exposed to more than 30 minutes of sun, she could be at risk of sunburn.

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Have a chill place for your pet to nap. The bathroom is a good spot.If your pet is panting heavily, cool her down by throwing her bed cover or blanket in the freezer for a few minutes. For older or long-haired dogs, the Canine Cooler dog bed (www.Soothsoft.com) is a luxury. Filled with water, it’s a comfort they’re sure to enjoy.

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For more hot weather tips, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (www.ASPCA.org) and click on the Experts Advice page.

Originally published July 2007
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