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PawPost Issue 9

The Cool Kids

With record temperatures around the country, it is important to keep your pets in mind when it comes to keeping cool. Here are our top tips for beating the summer heat!

Have some inside time

Small pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds, are particularly susceptible to heat. Please bring these animals indoors during hot weather. If allowed to free run in a laundry or bathroom, they will benefit from the cool tiles. If this is not possible, drape their cage with wet towels and provide a sturdy icepack or frozen water bottle for the animal to lean against so it can to regulate its own body temperature. Make sure the animals' enclosures are out of direct sunlight and protected from the sun as the shade moves throughout the day.

Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. If your a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, this is the time of year to back off on your exercise intensity to avoid overheating.

Use doggie boots You can find these at your local pet supply store. If you can't walk your dog during the early and later hours of the day, this is a good way of protecting them. Heat rises from the ground, especially on surfaces like cement and asphalt, and dogs absorb and release heat through their feet. Just like boots prevent the dog from absorbing the cold in the winter, they also isolate heat. A paw balm is a useful product for keeping pets paw pads from drying out and cracking in the warmer months.

Watch for signs of dehydration. Dogs can't sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes will be bloodshot, and it may appear a little pale. If you lift its skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place.Different dogs have different needs when battling the heat. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. Also, overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration. Provide plenty of fresh, cool water in large water containers. Be sure to provide numerous sources of water in case one is spilt. Ensure the containers are in the shade and add some ice to the water to keep it cool.

Find innovative ways to cool your dog Don't have air conditioning? No problem! Lay down a wet towel for your dog to lie on. Or simply set up a fan in front of a pan of ice. Set up a sprinkler that sprays the dog with a gentle mist of water or place a clam shell pool in the shade and fill it with water so your dog can wade in the water to keep cool. If your pet's share your yard with children, remember to have all necessary precautions in place, including fencing, in order to keep children safe.

Cool from the bottom up Make sure to spray the paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog, when spraying it with water. A wet towel does more good on the bottom of your dog than when laid on the top of its coat. If your pet seems to be in discomfort, try wetting its feet and misting water onto its face. This is an option for dogs, cats, ferrets, poultry and caged birds as many animals control their inner temperature through their feet. Its important not to saturate a bird's feathers as this can cause them to go into shock.

Let your dog dig! Your dog may resort to finding his own way to avoid the heat. Dogs in nature dig their dens not out of frustration but to find food, hide, give birth--or keep cool! If it's possible, locate a shady area where it's okay for your dog to dig.

Use hot weather as an excuse to swim more often! The best activity you can do in summertime or hot weather is swimming. Instead of walking the dog, take the dog on a swim! That way you can both cool down.

Slop, Slop, Slop

Little pink noses are cute, but can easily become sunburnt. Your fair-skinned pet needs a special sunscreen for animals to protect it from the discomfort of sunburn and the added risk of skin cancer, so don’t forget that ‘slip, slop, slap’ doesn’t just apply to people.

Emergency planning

​With hot weather comes the increased risk of fires. Be prepared and plan early to ensure you will be able to safely evacuate your pets in the event of an emergency.

Remember Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. Temperatures can rise quickly, causing dangerous heat stress to your pet. The car retains more heat than an open area, even if it is in the shade. Plus, a dog may get overexcited in the car due to passersby or panic from claustrophobia, making dehydration more likely. On longer trips, make sure you have water for the dog and keep the AC running.

Video of the Month - Puppy's First Swim

These adorable Golden Retriever pups aren't to sure about getting in the pool but once they get in they realise just how fun a pool party with your mates can be.

Sneak Peak February Box - Summer Lovin'

What better way to celebrate the end of summer and Valentine's day than to give your 4 legged love our February PetPack? Each box includes an edible card declaring your love, as well as some delicious tropical cookies from Mochi's Kitchen, and a valentines or summer toy.

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