The temperatures here in Texas will soon bubble over the 100-degree mark. Magic and Seren as inside pets enjoy the air conditioning, just like humans do. Magic Cooling Off But I worry about the clueless d*g because he insists on racing around after his toys, even when the weather’s blistering. I make sure that he has lots of cool water to drink, and even soak him with the hose now and then (he loves this!). But pets left outside risk heatstroke if not offered adequate protection. Pets don’t sweat. To cool off, d*gs pant with mouth open and tongue lolling so moisture evaporates off the tongue. Cats lick their fur and the evaporation helps keep body temperatures at a safe level. Cats don’t normally pant, and if your feline pants, that’s a warning sign she’s in trouble. But panting and grooming won’t cool them down unless the outside temps are cooler than their normal body temperature (101-102.5 degrees). Smash-faced breeds like Persians and Exotics, and Pugs and Bulldogs, have problems with respiration. They overheat more easily and need extra help staying cool. When self-cooling fails, heatstroke kills in less than 15 minutes. On a 78-degree day, cars sitting in the shade reach 90 degrees in no time—if in the sun, the temperature inside the car rises to 168 degrees within minutes. Cars literally cook the brain and quickly cause irreversible damage to pets, as well as helpless humans. Preventing heatstroke is easy. NEVER leave your pet unattended in the car. Make sure outside pets have access to shade and cool water at all times. Specialized attachments available from pet product stores turn outside faucets into 24/7 pet drinking fountains. Misting fans and aerosols that spew water into the air also lower the temperature and can be placed on the porch, deck or near your d*g’s pen. The same technology used to keep human athletes cool and comfortable during hot weather also works for pets. You can find cooling bandanas and collars, body wraps, and pet mats (for indoor or outdoor lounging) at a variety of pet products outlets. For a low-tech approach, purchase a child’s wading pool, fill it daily with cool water and a few ice cubes, and let the water-puppies splash to their heart’s content. Did you know cooling canine vests can save lives of our military men and women overseas? Check out the “Helping Udders” site and the canine cooling vests. Military dogs in vests with the weapons they found They accept donations to send these much-needed accessories to the working military dogs of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dogs equipped with cooling vests are able to work longer and stay healthier while clearing explosives. And fewer explosives means our military men and women also stay safer.
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