Keep pets cool this summer

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If you think hot weather is tough on you, just imagine how it would be if you were covered in fur.

Our pets can't tells us when they are getting hot, but they can certainly show signs, says Amanda Schrivener of PetSmart in Flint Twp, "Usually, excessive panting and drooling is how you can tell if a dog is hot."

Some things should be common sense, when it comes to protecting pets from the heat, but Amanda says a lot of people forget one key thing, "You definitely don't want to leave your dog in a hot car. When it's an 85-degree day outside, it's going to be 102 in your car within ten minutes."

Dogs are also less heat tolerant than we are, she adds, "They can't absorb the heat quite as well as humans can."

So, you can imagine, even just hanging out in the back yard all day can be tough on a pet, "If you are going to leave your dog outside on a hot day, just make sure they have plenty of shade- shade to lie down in an relax."

And water- not just drinking water, either. You might also consder a kiddie pool for your pets.

Amanda says, even dogs who hate baths will savor a dip in the pool, "My dogs will get in there, but skids on when it comes to bath time."

Speaking of bath time, you really should take extra care wtih your pet's coat in the summer. A lot of people shave down long-haired breeds, like this golden retrievers.

Short or long-haired, Amanda says, brushing is very important, "Keeping them brushed and combed will help with the tangles and the mats and keep them from overheating."

Indoors or out, dogs love to sleep on cool surfaces, which is where a cooling mats could come in handy. They work like those freezable cold packs we humans often use to sooth sore muscles.

"It's just a soothing mat for them to lay on," and, Amanda says, the matts may also help arthritic dogs with pain relief- bonus!

Also, if you like to get in a good workout, or even a walk with your pet, make sure you pick up a collapsable dog dish. You can take then in a car, along for a walk- anywhere. They are the perfect way to make sure your pet is getting enough water.

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