It’s June, it is getting hot outside and it is only going to get hotter over the next few months. This is the time of year when people start cranking the A/C, loading up on ice cream, and cooling off in the pool whenever possible; pretty much anything to beat the heat. While these activities may be the answer for many people during the summer months, what can we do to help our furry companions stay cool during this time of year? This article from CBS Denver, may have the answers.
Ask A Denver Expert: How To Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer
(credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
With summer approaching, your thoughts are likely turning to different ways to keep yourself cool as the thermometer reaches triple digits. It’s just as important to think about your four legged friends and some safe and effective ways to keep them cool. Most importantly, never leave your dog in a hot car. Remember how hot your car can get, even if you are only leaving for a few minutes. Your pet can’t take that kind of heat. You’ll also want to be aware of the signs of heat stroke, which can be a little different for pets. In addition to general safety rules, there are many great ways that you can protect your furry best friend from the soaring temperatures. From cool products to a few inexpensive things you can do at home, here are a few ways to keep your pets cool and refreshed all summer long.
200 Quebec St. #600
Denver, CO 80230
Julie Neva opened Chewy’s Bonetique in 2004, bringing wonderful specialty pet products, food and grooming supplies to the Lowry neighborhood. It’s a popular spot to find just about anything you could want for a healthy pet, and they offer great service and plenty of experts to offer some friendly advice and tips for any pet need. Chewy’s even offers its own line of cookies for your dog, and features local Colorado brands and products. Neva knows about keeping a pet safe and happy all year long, so she offers up these tips to help your pets beat the heat this summer.
Many companies make a variety of clothing products designed to keep your pets cool. Neva said she likes the Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest by Ruff Wear, which runs about $60 and comes in a variety of sizes to fit any pooch. “It’s a mesh vest that you soak in water and then when you are out in the heat, the wind evaporates the water and keeps the dog cool,” Neva said. The vest has its own reservoir in which to keep the water, plus a wicking outer layer to help evaporate the moisture away from your pet. It may not be the most fashionable vest on the market but when the heat is soaring, your pet will thank you.
Another product that a lot of companies offer is a cooling pad, though Neva recommends the Cooling Gel Pad from The Green Pet Shop. This great pad doesn’t need any water or electricity to work. It’s simply a gel-filled pad that is activated by the weight of your pet. When he lies on the pad the cooling starts and can be effective for up to four hours and recharges automatically. You can even stick it in the refrigerator, which will help make the cooling last longer. These run from $27 to $60 depending on the size of your dog. Plus, while the product is marketed towards dogs, it works on cats as well.
You can find dog ice cream and frozen yogurt out on the market, but you can also make cold treats for your pets at home. “One of our manufacturers last summer came out with this great idea,” Neva said. “You take a can of food and stick a popsicle stick in it and freeze it.” Then you simply pull the food out and let your dog or cat spend time licking away at the cold food. It’s a very easy way to keep your pet cool, and it won’t cost you much. You can also freeze treats inside toys or layer them in buckets of water for dog-safe popsicle toys. “Just take an ice cream pail, throw in some treats or a Kong with treats in it and freeze it. Of course it all floats to the top, so if you freeze it a little first, then put the treat in and freeze the rest in layers. It will stay in the middle,” Neva said. This is another great tip that can work equally well for dogs and for cats, just be sure to use the right food.
A good grooming is essential in the summer months, however shaving your pet down is not always the answer. “What people tend to do is shave double-coated haired dogs and our research has shown us that the dogs really need their hair for sun protection as well as cold,” Neva said. So what to do with dogs with double coats? “Just remove any dead hair and mats. I don’t think you should shampoo more often, as that can be drying, but keeping the coat in good condition and free of mats and dead hair will help a lot,” she said.
You probably associate boots with only freezing temperatures, but you may not realize how tough hot pavement can be on your pet’s soft pads. “The hot pavement that people take their dogs on long walks is no different than the ice in the winter time,” Neva said. “A good pair of boots is very helpful, especially if they are hiking a lot, which is hard on the dog’s pads.” There are great lines of pet boots to try, so find your favorite and protect your best friend’s paws from the soaring heat.