The temperature’s rising, and your dog starts to shed his winter coat. It’s summer time, and the perfect time to get out and about to play with our canine friends. However, with the high temperature comes some risks of overheating, particularly for dogs that have a heavy-coat such as Malamutes and Huskies.

For dogs with thick coats, they can still partake in outdoor activities, but keep in mind that anything above 65 degrees Fahrenheit can be considered too warm for them. To keep them healthy and safe this Summer, follow these five tips.

Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Image by allisoncarmody

Watch Their Behavior

For starters, simply keep an eye on how they’re acting, because they’ll let you know if they’re too warm. Unlike humans, dogs only have sweat glands on their paws and noses, and they cool down by panting. If your pooch is panting harder than usual that might be one sign that they’re getting too hot.

Other indicators are searching for shade, and laying down during the middle of a walk. If either happen, give your dog a break in the shade so they have a chance to cool down before you head home.

Keep Their Outdoor Time Limited

On particularly hot days, only allow your dog outside to go to the bathroom, and that’s it. Forget about going on walks or at least keep the walks extremely short as it’ll be too easy for them to overheat. If you are bringing them with you anywhere, drive. Just don’t leave them in a parked car that isn’t on with air conditioning.

Switch Up Your Walk Routine

If you want to make sure your dog is still getting the exercise they need, despite the heat, change the time you usually walk. Instead of going out mid-day, for example, stick to the cooler hours, such as first thing in the morning or in the evening after the sun has set. And whatever you do, stick to walks rather than runs.

Another fun exercise activity, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon, would be to take them to a dog-friendly beach so they can go swimming in the water, or, at the very least, splash around in the surf. They’ll get some exercise while keeping cool in the water.

Keep Their Place Comfortable

While they are indoors, still take measures to make sure they’re staying cool. For example, if they sleep in a crate, put a fan in the room with them and remove any thick, heavy blankets. You can also take it a step further and get them a “cooling” bed. These beds, available at just about any pet store, can be filled with water, giving your pooch a cool place to rest.

Groom Your Dog

With their heavy fur coats, it’s more important than ever to keep your dogs groomed. Finding a pet wash is one way to do that. The pet wash can not only trim your dog’s long coat so their fur is a little less thick, but they can also shampoo and clean them, which will help with their shedding as well. At home, keep them groomed by regularly brushing their hair. While it may be tempting, never shave your heavy-coated dog. If their skin is exposed, it can cause more issues, like sunburn. Plus, while their coat is heavy, it does help regulate their temperature, both in the cold and heat.

Make Sure Your Dog Stays Hydrated

Since it is warmer outside and they are sweating more, albeit differently than humans do, offer more water to your canine friend in order to keep them hydrated. Another way to make sure they’re getting the water they need is to feed them ice cubes, which they may even see as a treat. Alternatively, freeze a bowl of water, that way it can melt over the course of the day into cold water (but if you do go this route, make sure to they’re getting enough water).

Heat can affect any dog, but it can particularly affect dogs with a whole bunch of fur. Since they can’t necessarily keep themselves cool all on their own, it’s up to you as a responsible pet owner to pay attention to how they’re acting and keep them as cool as possible.

 

Kayla MatthewsKayla Matthews is a pet-loving productivity blogger with a passion for animals and especially big dogs! To read more articles by Kayla you can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or at ProductivityTheory.com.

By Natalie Gomez 33 days ago at 10:00 am 0 Comments

Owning a pet can be one of life’s great pleasures. They relieve stress, help us get out and exercise more, and can be a great sounding board. They are always happy to see us and make great companions. But if you suffer from allergies or asthma, they can quickly go from best friend to worst enemy.

That is the case in my house. My wife and I love animals and have always had a pet of some sort around. But my wife suffers from allergies and pet dander can play havoc on her health. In order for us to keep pets we have to take extra steps to keep the pet dander and dust down in our house. Here are some of the things we do to keep our exposure to pet dander to a minimum.

Baby Jean

Keep floors clean. If someone in your house suffers from allergens then you have to step up your floor cleaning. Vacuuming floors regularly is an effective way to reduce the allergens that collect on bare floors, rugs, and carpets. However, vacuuming may kick up allergens into the air. If possible, vacuum when the person suffering from allergies is away. Also use a HEPA filter in your vacuum.   

Deep clean. If you have carpets, get them on a regular basis. This will help remove the allergens that regular vacuuming won’t remove. Also consider steam cleaning your furniture as well. Vacuum couches, chairs, drapes and other fabrics that may collect allergens. Periodically wash throw rugs, pillows, pet beds and blankets. Make sure not to forget cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures.

Keep litter boxes clean. Litter boxes should be kept clean and moved out of living areas. We keep ours in the garage and the cats can access it through a pet door from the house. If you have cages for birds or rodents or crate your pets make sure to keep these clean. If possible, move these to areas of the house that the allergy sufferer doesn’t frequent. 

Bathe your pet regularly. Frequently washing your pet has been shown to reduce allergens, but this is more effective for dogs than it is for cats. Not only does bathing reduce dander but it also washes off any pollen your pet may have picked up from rolling in the grass or brush. Reduce allergens from your cat

A good diet means less dander. Many mistakenly believe that allergies come from an animal’s hair. However, most allergic reactions result from exposure to dander, which are the dead flaky skin cells on pets. A good well balanced diet will help cut down on dander. Also consider adding fish oil to your pet’s food to keep their skin and coat shiny and healthy.

Control air circulation. If you have allergies, consider and changing them more often than is typically required. Consider closing heat registers in rooms where the person with allergies spends much of their time. Be wary of turning on fans as this may stir up dander and other allergens.

Designate pet free areas. Keep pets off couches, upholstered furniture, and beds. Restricting pets from specific rooms, such as bedrooms, can also help the allergy sufferer. Consider keeping pets out of the vehicle, or at least allowing them only in the far back.

These are many of the steps we take to maintain a balance between our pets and my wife’s allergies. Although keeping up with cleaning this much can be a headache, it pays off in being able to have pets in our house.

 

Sean ArmstrongSean Armstrong is an advocate for clean air and healthy living. He tends to worry about too many things he can’t control, and has recently been following environmental issues and sharing what he learns with others.

 

By Natalie Gomez 40 days ago at 3:30 pm 0 Comments

Let's face it -- we love our pets, but the constant dirt and fur they leave all over the house? Not so much. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your pets comfortable and maintain a beautiful home. Below are some tried-and-tested tricks to help you keep your pets' mess at bay.

Regular Hair Grooming

Regular grooming or even just brushing your pet's hair thoroughly in the garage effectively lessens shedding. Trim their hair to keep them from scratching and brush their coats to take away loose fur.

Grooming

Regular Nail Trimmings

Having your pet's nails clipped on a regular basis helps reduce scratch marks on furniture, carpets, and doors. If you have cats, get a scratching post to give them a constant place to claw on.

Nail Trimmings

Towel by the Door

Before your pets enter the house, wipe their paws on a towel to keep them from tracking mud, dirt, or snow across your floor. For rainy and snowy days, leave a small basin of warm water by the door before taking the dogs out for a walk. When you return, wash their paws and then dry them with a towel before letting them back in.

Pet Sponges

Keep a handful of pet sponges on hand for stray fur. These can be found at pet supply stores and come in handy when removing hair from fabric upholstery, clothes, and blankets. They are used dry, so you don't have to worry about getting your fabrics damp during cleanup.

Pet Blankets

If your pets have that special place in the house they keep coming back to, then make them more comfortable. Spread a blanket to catch any fur or dirt they might leave behind. Afterwards, shake out their blankets to get rid of the dirt.

Blankets

Mat-lined Food Bowls

Some pets are just messy eaters. Protect your floor by placing a rubber-backed mat under their food bowls. This keeps the bowls from sliding all across your floor as it catches spills. Once your pets are done eating, simply shake off the mat. In case they spill water, soak the liquid out with newspaper before cleaning the mat.

Food Bowls

Mat-lined Litter Boxes

For cat owners, line the litter box with a mat to catch erratic litter that sometimes gets stuck underneath your cat's paws. The mat traps litter every time your cat walks out of the box.

Toy Box

Store all your pet's toys in a box and keep it somewhere accessible, but out of the way. This is helpful if you have small children as it reduces the risk of stepping or tripping on small items. If you have the time, you can also train your pets to put their toys back in the box by themselves.

Toy Box

Clean-up Kit

To make cleanup easier, prepare a kit that you can just grab from under the sink. Items such as spray-stain removers, towels, paper towels or old newspapers, and wet wipes in a bucket or basket can come in handy.

Clean-up Kit

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an efficient cleaning agent and odor remover. Use it in litter boxes or cages to get rid of unpleasant scents. In case of "accidents," on carpets or rugs, sprinkle liberally on the spot and leave overnight to soak in the odor. Vacuum the next day or even better, air-dry under the sun.

Finally, don't forget to ask for help. Professional cleaners can get rid of the more stubborn stains, while pet trainers can give you tips on training your furry friends. Make cleanup easier and less tiring for you by being prepared and anticipating your pet's needs.

 

Jennifer Lutz

Jennifer Lutz writes about home-related topics at blog.christmastreemarket.com.

 

 

 

By Natalie Gomez 50 days ago at 2:00 pm 0 Comments