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Friday, June 10, 2011

Help Your Dog Beat the Heat!

When the mercury on your thermometer exceeds 85 degrees, it is time to make sure your four-legged family member(s) will be safe during the day.  Extra water bowls, shaded cover for outdoor time and a lighter coat all help keep your pooch's body temperature within an acceptable range, but for some new spins on the top ways to keep those doggies cool, check out some of our favorite solutions:

1.  Do you have kids who enjoy water play?  Do you own a shallow plastic pool?  Even if you do not have children, an inexpensive baby pool can provide you with a lovely place to gather with friends and cool your own "dogs" off during the height of the summer heat (or an excellent and convenient place to store some drinks during a picnic).  When you introduce this water feature to your dog, you may be surprised at how fast your previously water-shy dog splashes around and cools off (especially if dog toys are involved)!  Local discount retailers offer these pools for as little as $10 and if you are still unsure about investing in yet another product for your dog, just keep in mind that each time they splash around, they are saving you time and money you may have otherwise invested in their bathing needs!
2.  Three words: Giant Frozen Toys.  Another great way to encourage your dog to stay cool is by providing a challenge for them using their own toys!  By starting with a bowl of water, a chew toy such as a rope pull and/or a kong, you can freeze a medley of their favorites to enjoy when they need a treat to relax from the heat of the day.  As they excitedly lick the frozen solid, they will come closer to enjoying their treasures, which will captivate and cool them for extended periods of time.
3.  Shaded shelter is very important for dogs when they are outside for an extended period of time.  A cooler resting area out of the sun's direct path is important for many reasons, but particularly to keep their body temperature down and also to keep their feet from burning on the heated ground.  If your dog does not have a garden with soil space to lie down or a tree canopy, you may want to consider building a simple structure or canopy bed for your dog to rest in order to preserve their health during hot days.

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