Keep pets comfortable in warm weather

Men and women anticipate the arrival of warmer weather in the same way children look forward to Christmas morning. With a snowier-than-usual winter and chilly start to the spring in many regions, summertime sun and heat might be more coveted than ever before.

While many individuals have been counting down the days until 85-degree weather, pets may not have been sharing the same enthusiasm. The hot weather can bring discomfort to our four-legged friends.

It's widely known that keeping a dog chained up outdoors in the sun and heat is cruel, as is keeping him locked in a car while running errands. However, there are many other factors that come into play regarding keeping pets cool and comfortable when the mercury rises.

Unlike humans, pets cannot simply shed layers of clothes to cool down. Nor do they have the communication skills to tell people to turn up the air conditioning. It's up to pet parents to be in tune with their pets' needs and provide what they require. In order to keep pets content when the weather is warm, consider these suggestions.


* Cool down. Have a source of water for pets to use to cool down. This may be a retired baby pool, a misting hose, even a damp towel that can be used to rub over a pet's coat. Be sure this water source doesn't pose a drowning threat (i.e., don't leave a pool of water around young children or puppies).

* Offer shade.The shade can reduce temperatures by several degrees. When spending considerable time outdoors, have a shady spot to which both people and pets can retire. If a pet is an outside animal, be sure there is a covered area that will offer generous shade.

* Provide cold water to drink. Pets can become dehydrated and suffer from heatstroke just like humans can. Some animals will avoid a bowl of water if it has heated from being outside. Be sure to regularly refresh water bowls so that animals have cool, refreshing water to drink.

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