I happened to be up most of the night, and my pit bulls slept in with me most of the day. Not because they were tired, but because it is 96 degrees outside. All four of my inside dogs suffer tremendously from the heat.Here are some things you can do to help your dog, and cats, stay cool on these blistering hot days.
- Know your breed and their heat tolerance. Bogart, the bullador, can’t be out for more than a few minutes. Dugan, the old guy, is a trip in and out about 3 times a day. The pits want to go out, they really do-they just can’t handle the heat. My outside dogs are miserable too, although have acclimated slowly to the temperature and have learned tricks to stay cool.
- If you don’t have a yard and want to get out- go to a local dog park. Some local ones have plenty of shade.There is supposedly at least one in the St. Louis area that has water access, but I couldn’t find much information on them at this time. Maybe one of my readers will let us know about them. The community parks also offer a nice place to walk and relax. Just emphasis the relax part rather than the play part-it is just too hot for much activity.
- SHADE, SHADE, SHADE-never tie an animal or pen an animal where there is not shade at all times during the day. All times. If you have to put up a canopy or tarp over a dog run to make shade, so be it.
- PEOPLE DO I EVEN NEED TO SAY THIS-NEVER LEAVE AN ANIMAL IN A CAR, EVEN WITH THE WINDOW CRACKED FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME. NEVER. NEVER.
- Water. Fresh and cool. At all times.
- If in an enclosed area, run a fan if possible.
- Swimming pools. Dogs love to walk through water. Some love to totally immerse themselves. Cheap plastic kiddie’s pools are great and last a remarkable amount of time, even with a pack like mine. Get floating balls and toys and they have a blast. Don’t force them. For a more sturdy option, try the Rubbermaid stock tanks. They have a drain and are easier to clean and are just about indestructible.
- We have ordered some dog misters on the INTERNET for our front porch area where our outside dogs like to congregate. If you have been to Six Flags you know what I am talking about. A very light mist covers the area, using very little water, but will keep the area 15 degrees cooler. They sell them now for livestock, breeding facilities, patios, dog pens etc….very reasonably priced. Target even has a version. Some are just nozzles and some are the long rope type depending on your needs About $20.
- They also sell “cool” bandannas for dogs now. Bandannas that you freeze then put around your dog’s neck. Most pet specialty stores carry them.
- Bug control-keep the bugs off your pet as much as possible. There are products on the market made for this.
- Keep your patience. If you don’t provide relief, sometimes they will provide their own. Dogs will dig basements to their dog houses and climb under them to stay cool. I heard a splash and one of my pits was neck deep in the fish/frog pond the other day.
- Remember-tempers flare in the heat. With dogs and cats, just like with people. If you have dogs that are kind of grumpy anyway, don’t try new situations and new people with them when it is 98 degrees outside. You are just asking for trouble.
- There is a reason crime goes up in the summer.
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To find products mentioned today, just google pet misters, animal misters, or patio misters. Also look under pet specialty stores.