Seven Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer!

by Shawn Rice on June 23, 2011

While there are very few things cooler than a Frenchie named Gizmo in a SuperGirl costume, sometimes being metaphorically cool just isn’t enough.  Having access to plenty of clean drinking water is a great way to prevent doggie-dehydration, but it is not the only way to help our beloved beasts stay cool in the summer: 

  1. AC or Fans – while you are away, make sure the temp is comfortable – remember, they are wearing fur coats
  2. Summer cut – shave that fur coat off! (Remember, dogs’ skin is just as vulnerable as ours to sunburn, so leave plenty of fur on their heads, necks, and backs.)
  3. Take swimming – there is a dogs-only swimming pond at Prospect Park, but be advised: dogs MUST be kept on leash except for designated off-leash hours.  And algae and microbes make a post swimming bath a necessity.  If you are looking for a more controlled environment, Water4Dogs in Tribeca provides an indoor swimming environment year-round, though reservations are required.
  4. Carry a water bowl: there are many collapsible bowls which easily fit in your purse or pocket, but a bottle can be just as useful: you can just squeeze a quick drink into your dog’s mouth and also squirt on their fur.
  5. Before going out: (especially for heavy dogs or breeds that overheat easily) pat some cool water on underside – belly, inner thighs, behind ears, armpits – this will help keep them cool for the duration of the walk as dogs do not have sweat glands.
  6. Dog cooling bandana – sure they look good, but does anyone know if they actually work? Leave a comment below if you have any experience with this odd but stylish phenomenon.

Special tip for cats:

The “Hand Bath” – no, it’s not a euphemism for something untoward 😉
In the hot months, it’s best to give your cats (and dogs) a daily brushing to help them keep their fur thin and skin healthy. However, many cats detest the brush. Yes, it’s true. For this trick, wash your hands normally and with lots of cool, water on them, pet your cats from forehead down to their tail. this will wet their fur at first, then keep petting until your hands and your cat are dry. You will pull tons of loose fur off her. Reapply water and repeat, massaging her as you go, and offering little scratched under the chin, etc. all the while administering cool water and helping her to lose the excess fur. Think of this as a daily snuggle session that will keep the sheds down, cool her off (get water on her tummy, forehead and inner thighs too) and increase your cat / food-bringer bond. You know that’s how she sees you, right? Only now, you can be the food-bringer AND daily masseuse!

1. AC or fans – while you are away, make sure the temp is comfortable – remember, they are wearing fur coats
2. summer cut – shave that fur coat off!
3. take swimming – swimming pond at prospect park, though it may not always be the cleanest (link to blog or news article re. the pond in the park) – google other safer place to take dog swimming and link to them
4. water bowl or sorts bottle of water – can squeeze into dogs mouth and also squirt on fur
5. before going out (esp for heavy dogs or breeds that overheat easily) pat some cool water on underside – belly, inner thighs, behind ears, armpits – this will help keep them cool for the duration of the walk as dogs do not have sweat glands
6. dog cooling bandana – sure they look good, but does anyone know if they actually work? (soliciting for comments) 

Special tip for cats:

The “Hand Bath” – no, it’s not a euphemism for something untoward 😉
In the hot months, it’s best to give your cats (and dogs) a daily brushing to help them keep their fur thin and skin healthy. However, many cats detest the brush. Yes, it’s true. For this trick, wash your hands normally and with lots of cool, water on them, pet your cats from forehead down to their tail. this will wet their fur at first, then keep petting until your hands and your cat are dry. You will pull tons of loose fur off her. Reapply water and repeat, massaging her as you go, and offering little scratched under the chin, etc. all the while administering cool water and helping her to lose the excess fur. Think of this as a daily snuggle session that will keep the sheds down, cool her off (get water on her tummy, forehead and inner thighs too) and increase your cat / food-bringer bond. You know that’s how she sees you, right? Only now, you can be the food-bringer AND daily massuese!

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