23 Jul 13

Cool pet products & heat safety ...

By Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com, Cover Photo of Igor the Bulldog by the pool by Carol Price (Igor’s mom!)

In the summer it is super important to keep our cats and dogs cool and comfy.  Dogs can easily overheat if they are playing too much in the heat of the day, have gone for a long walk or just sitting in the hot sun too long.

Lucky for us pet owners there are a lot of cool pet products that do just that, help keep your pets cool!  Whether you are traveling with your pup, just going to the beach, on the boat or hanging by the pool in the backyard, here are some pet products to consider:

Frostybowlz – this stainless steel bowl has a core inside that you can freeze, put back under the top of the bowl and it helps keep your pet’s water cold for up to 10 hours.

MyKoolDog – invented by a native Nassau County pet lover who now lives on the North Fork of LI.  This made in the USA bowl has a unique concept – with two compartments and lids.  In the bottom

compartment you put water in and freeze it, or fill with ice cubes.  In the other compartment you put fresh water and head out for the day with your pup.

Perfect for a day at the beach with your dog, a long walk or the dog park.  When your dog finishes the water in the top compartment, you flip the bowl over and the melted ice, which is now water, fills into the top compartment through interior channels so your pet once again has fresh and cold water. How cool is that?

It is so important to keep our pets hydrated and out of the heat as a pet can over heat easily in warm and humid temperatures.  Speaking with Dr. Michel A. Selmer of Advanced Animal Care Center in Huntington Station, I asked him for warning signs if your pet is overheating:

“Sweating and panting are two mechanisms for regulating body temperature. When sweat evaporates it cools the skin and panting releases heat through the mouth. Since dogs and cats only have sweat glands in their paws and paws have too little surface area to do much cooling your pet needs alternative ways to stay cool and therefore the primary means of cooling themselves off is by panting,” stated Dr. Selmer. He gave me this information on signs pet owners should look for when a pet is beginning to over heat:

  • Restless behavior as your pet tries to find a cool spot
  • Panting, sweaty feet, drooling, excessive grooming in an effort to cool off
  • Rectal temperature is usually normal to slightly elevated

Then, as your pet’s body temperature begins to rise, signs of heat exhaustion become evident, including:

  • Rapid pulse and breathing
  • Redness of the tongue and mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling, staggering gait
  • Rectal temperature is over 105° F

Eventually the body temperature will be high enough to cause the pet to collapse and have seizures or slip into a coma.  Dr. Selmer said if you see any signs that your pet is overheating bring your pet immediately to your veterinarian.

Be sure to have cool, clean water for your pet at all times, the products mentioned earlier can help with that! For an additional treat your dogs can enjoy Frosty Paws found in most pet supply stores (or even grocery stores) in the frozen food section.   Also, Honest Kitchen has a great product called Ice Pups™ that I just made for my dog Max, and he loves it! It is a packet of make-at-home grain free treats for dogs and cats. You mix the packet with water, and pour into a ice cube tray, freeze and when frozen give one cube to your pup.  But of course monitor you dog while chomping on that ice cube!  Or you can make your own frozen doggie yogurt – using the best low fat and sugar free human grade yogurt possible.  Many recipes for this are available on the internet, but make sure this is something your pup can eat and doesn’t have any allergies too the ingredients.

And of course never, ever leave your pet in the car in the warm spring, summer and fall months.  It is illegal and could kill your pet very quickly.  If you see a dog left in the car during a warm day, call your police department immediately!  You could be saving his life.

Here’s a good tip, program your smart phone with your local animal control office number or animal shelter number so you have it immediately if you need to call an AC officer along with the police for a pet locked in a hot car.

Most of all, have fun with your pet this summer, but always be aware of his limits during the heat!

Dobby loving the cool water in the stream!

Max loving the beach!

Igor by the pool! Photo by Carol Price (Igor’s mom!)

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