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5 Ways to Help Pets Beat the Heat

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If you live in the desert like we do, you know how fortunate we are to have our amazing winters where the average temperature reaches a high in the seventies. But we pay dearly for these beautiful winters temps during the scalding summers.  In Arizona, our summer temps can average as much as 115 degrees (and I spent a summer here where they exceeded 125 degrees!).

I’m lucky enough to have a career as a writer – this enables me to stay at home with my pets in air-conditioned splendor. But there were many years I wasn’t able to stay at home and keep our pets comfortable. Not everyone has well-behaved dogs either, which means you can’t leave your destructive dogs indoors all day and allow them to rip up the carpet or destroy the walls. So, what’s a pet parent to do during the dog days of summer?

Beyond making absolutely sure your pets have all-day access to shade (remember, the sun moves – just because it’s shady in the morning doesn’t mean there is a shade spot anywhere come noon!), and plenty of sparkling clean, cool water sources, there are other things you can do to help your pet beat the heat. 

[note type=”danger” icon=”yes”]Cats and short-snouted dogs do not handle the heat the well. If you can’t leave your pets indoors where they have access to air-conditioning, you need to make alternative arrangements for them with a neighbor or daycare facility.[/note]

Here are five alternatives to leaving your pet outdoors.

 [heading style=”1″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]1. Doggy daycare[/heading]

If you can afford it, this is an optimal solution. You drop your dogs off on the way to work, pick them up on the way home. Your pet will spend the day sleeping, playing and making new friends – all in air-conditioned comfort under the watchful eye of professional pet care providers. Doggy Daycare ranges from $15-$25/day.

Learn more about The Many Advantages of Doggy Daycare and how to select a reliable facility.

[heading style=”1″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]2. Neighbors[/heading]

If you can’t afford daycare, consider asking a neighbor who works from home or might be temporarily unemployed to keep an eye on your pets. There are a lot of people looking for a job, but until they find one, they may be willing to help you out with your dog in exchange for a few dollars. Ask them to let your pets into your house during the hottest part of the day (11 am – 4 pm depending on where you live). 

This is a great opportunity for people who work from home and would like to pick up a few extra dollars for the upcoming holidays.

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Invite them to stick around and watch a movie to ensure there is no doggy destruction. If you don’t feel comfortable asking someone into your home, take the dog to them. Be sure your neighbor is someone you trust and if you want to verify that they are being cared for properly, consider buying an Eyenimal camera, a GPS tracker, a live video feed (we love the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro), or some other way to check on them.

[heading style=”1″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]3. Set Up Safe Zone[/heading]

If you have a doggy door, set up a safe zone for your pet. That is an area here your pet can enter the air conditioning without destroying the house.  A large crate set up on the interior that the dog enters when coming indoors will help preserve your home.

Natural Dog Company

[heading style=”1″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]4. Provide Exterior Cooling[/heading]

Provide a doggy pool (a wading pool), mist system, plenty of fresh, cool water that is replenished automatically throughout the day, and also consider the following:

  • Cooling pads help keep pets off the hot ground. (Check out our favorite: The Green Pet Shop Self Cooling Pet Pad)
  • FrostyBowlz – to keep water cool during the day
  • Shade – be sure to provide a shady spot that is safe from ants and insects
  • Dig a hole – your pet will probably dig a hole in the yard to stay cool. You may want to help them out by getting the hard ground started for them under the cooling shade of a tree or dog house. That way, you also retain control of where holes are dug.
[heading style=”1″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]5. Take Your Pet To Work[/heading]

If you are lucky enough to work in a pet-friendly environment, take your pet to work. Its a great way to socialize your pet. The business benefits of having pets in the workplace have been shown to increase productivity, decrease stress, and tend to promote social behavior which also results in more teamwork and better quality work. If you don’t work in a facility that regularly allows pets, ask them if they would consider a change during excessive heat days.

There are many ways that you can help your pets beat the heat. Keep your pets well-groomed, provide them with plenty of water and a wading pool, ensure that they have plenty of shade, install a misting system, and ask for help.

After all, it takes a village…

Every species of animal can be effected by the heat, so be sure to check out these other informative articles on keeping your pets cool during the dog days of summer:

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