A Cool Dog in Eight Easy Steps

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A Cool Dog in Eight Easy Steps

by Dan Willie

The summer is one of the best times to spend outside with your dog. But it is also the time of year that can cause a lot of overheating or even heatstroke. There are many ways to prevent your dog from suffering from excessive heat. I have found that these are eight of the most important and I believe easy ways to keep your dog cool in the summer heat.

1. Never Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car: Not even for a few minutes with the windows cracked. If the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the inside car temperature can reach 150 degrees in a matter of minutes. It's the number one cause of heat stroke.
2. Always Provide Plenty of Fresh Water: Dogs need plenty of fresh water available to them. Did you know that dogs can only sweat through the pads of their feet and by panting? Evaporation from the wet surfaces of their mouth and nose helps lower body temperature.
3. Hot Pavement: Their sensitive paws burn very easily.
4. A Cool Spot: Outdoor pets need shade during the heat of the day. Make sure that they have a cool place to rest. If it's an indoor dog use the air conditioner to keep them cool. A sprinkle with a hose wouldn't hurt and some dogs may even enjoy it.
5. Sunburn: If you have had sunburn before than you know how it feels. Dogs can get burned also, especially dogs with short hair and those with pink skin and white hair.
6. Exercise and Diet. Do not encourage excessive exercise during the hottest part of the day. If they don't eat as much, that's a good thing. Overeating can lead to overheating.
7. Lakes, Rivers and Streams. Animals that are put in the water for the first time should not be thrown in or chased in. Ease them in and they are more likely to enjoy it in the future. Don't let them drink from pools, streams, or the ocean. And, if they swim, rinse them off. Salt and minerals can damage a dog's coat.
8. Parasites. Fleas, ticks and ear mites thrive in the warm, humid environment. Use preventative programs.

If you think your dog has heat stroke check for these signs, rapid panting, hot skin, twitching muscles, and a dazed look. If these signs are present than wrap them in a towel soaked with cool, not cold water. Heatstroke can be fatal, so see a veterinarian as soon possible.

I believe that all these steps can easily be done to keep your dog cool this summer. Look at it this way, if you are outside and get thirsty than so is your dog, if you are minding the heat and need some shade, than your dog needs shade too.

Dan Willie lives with his wife and two dogs, Lady and Jill. Dan specializes in loving, caring and outright spoiling his " girls". Visit us at http://www.ahomewithdogs.com to find lots of information on dog care,health and what you need to know when you have a home with dogs.

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