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Keep pets cool during summer
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Editor, Summer is coming and it is time to keep our pets cool and comfortable. Dogs have fewer sweat glands than us so they pant. Panting helps to regulate their body temperature. Unfortunately, panting may not be effective during extreme heat. There are steps pet owners can take that may prevent their pet from suffering a heat-related injury.
Dogs that are kept outside are at an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke and by law should have proper shelter from the weather. If you insist on keeping your pet outside, they should have access to shady areas. Many of us like to lie out in the sun for hours, not dogs. Check throughout the day to make sure there is shade still available. Your pet’s doghouse has to be well-ventilated and in a shady area. If the heat is extreme, your pet may not use the doghouse because it can be like an oven. There are several companies that sell climate-controlled doghouses or you can find Web sites that will tell you how to build a well-ventilated doghouse.
Water, water, water! Your pet needs plenty of cool water. If someone gave you warm water to drink on a hot day, you’re probably thinking, “Are you kidding me?” Provide several water bowls or a few buckets and put ice in them. Check throughout the day to make sure the water is still cool. Next, provide your pet a kiddie pool. For about $15, your dog can cool off and have some fun. Of course, if you have puppies or there are children nearby, they will require supervision. If not a kiddie pool, use a hose or a large, wet towel to cool your pets down.
These are just a few tips that I hope will be helpful. I highly recommend keeping your pets indoors as much as possible during extreme heat. Heat exhaustion and stroke can happen quickly and your pet will die. I’m sure many pet owners already know this information but there are those right now reading that are having an “aha” moment. So enjoy the summer and make sure your pet does too.

Natalie Tooley
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