Keeping Your Dogs Happy in the Summer Heat

Hot weather can really stress your pet's health. I have three inside dogs and have found that even with air conditioning a pet can be uncomfortable. Many problems can arise from the heat and humidity so here is what I have found over the years of pet ownership that keep my pets happy, healthy, and my wallet healthy too!

I change my pets water twice a day. I also have a 3.5 gallon gravity fed watering bowl for them. One of the best things I have found to help my pets stay healthy in this weather is to take several used bottled water bottles and fill them with tap water. I then place them in the freezer and each time I change my pets water, I place a frozen bottled water in the bowl of fresh water. This allows the fresh water I have set out to stay cool longer. I just keep extras in the freezer and change them out each day. I have also frozen used butter tubs and made big "ice cubes" in the bowl of water.

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I like to give my pets healthy treats as well. I try to use all of our leftovers for either my husband and I or the pets. If I have lean meat left over, I will cut it up in small pieces and put them in a zip lock bag. I then label the bag and place it in the deep freezer. This gives my pets a nice treat from time to time w/o costing me a lot. In freezing the meats, I have them available for however long it takes to use them up and it also takes them longer to chew the treat up.

Often I find old fleece throws that I use for my pets bedding. I take one throw and cut it into four nice ones. I get more mileage from the one throw by cutting it up that way.

Fleas can be a major problem in heat and humidity. I know that many people don't have the time to do this as often as I do, but I bathe my dogs at least once a week in this hot weather. It makes them more comfortable and fleas are not a problem for them. I use the cheap blue Dawn dish detergent every other wash. This will kill fleas and my Yorkie's hair tends to be a little greasy. It works great on his hair. Sometimes after I have taken my bath I will pop my little dogs in the left over water and give them a quick bath. Then I towel dry them well and let them air dry. I only use a hair dryer in the winter months. I always use a little cream rinse on them so that they do not have tangles when they dry, then I brush them out later. I use baby shampoo in between the Dawn baths. I have used vinegar to rinse the dogs too. I keep the water tepid in temperature during the bath and remember, always wash the head and face last. This is when they want to "shake" the water off. Be gentle around the eyes and mouth. No need to be rough in this area and the dog will enjoy the bath much more. I was afraid to cut my Yorkie's hair for years. However, I live in the country and just hate to pay $30 to have him shaved down each summer. It really stressed him out too. A few months ago I found dog clippers on sale for $15. I bought them and figured if I clip my Yorkie's hair down and he looked like a "refugee", what did it matter? As long as he is cool and he is a good boy about getting his hair cut by his mommy it's all good! It has been a learning curve for me and him! The nice thing is that I can cut him as needed a little at a time and I am getting better at it over time. I can also clean my other long haired little girl's "privates" as needed too! So my $15 investment has more than paid off.

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I cannot clip my own dog's nails and have tried for the longest time to do so. I should have started years ago doing them when they were puppies but did not. So I have found a nail clinic that is held each month by the local humane society. They will do it for a donation and I take the "babies" to it every few months. This cost me about $20 and I am more than happy to make the donation! I have a designated room for my babies and I keep it mopped and bedding changed every day. I know that many don't think they have the time to do this, but I find it much easier to keep the room clean and fresh smelling by attending to it every day.

The very best advice I can give someone that wants to have a dog or cat is only get one you can take care of. Don't get a large pet if you don't have the adequate room and time to devote to the pet's care. I have three dogs that I have the time and room for and I would not take anything for any of them! Good luck!

By honeypie from Calhoun, KY

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