Keep your pet cool this summer!

Summer heat likely affects dogs more than cats. Most cats are exclusively indoor and have no idea what all the fuss is about. Dogs go for rides in cars (not saying cats can’t!!), go on walks, play outside, etc. What can you do to help your dog deal with the heat?
The best thing you can do to help your dog stay cool is to have him or her thoroughly brushed out. We need to get that winter undercoat gone! I am a huge fan of the furminator – it really gets so much more hair than a regular comb or brush. That undercoat acts like a sweater, so your dog will be instantly cooler.
A common thing people want to do for their extra fluffy dogs is shave them. Believe it or not, once you have the excess undercoat eliminated, your dog’s outer coat helps keep him or her cool! Of course, if your dog is matted, the shaving is necessary, but otherwise, it’s best avoided. Shaving removes that cooling system, as well as removes protection from sunburn. (Here’s a nice article from a fellow mobile vet about not shaving dogs). Besides that, all they have left is panting, which, let’s face it, isn’t the greatest cooling system anyway. Certain breeds are particularly inefficient pant-ers – think of dogs with smooshed in faces (pugs, bulldogs, etc). If you have one of those breeds, be extra cautious in the heat!
Finally, when you’re doing any outdoor activity with your dog, follow their cues. Dogs want to please us and will push themselves to heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke. Often you need to be the one to call it quits. Watch for excessive panting (more intense than the usual) or even the slightest drop in enthusiasm (ie – from super-duper excited to just super excited). It’s best to play it safe, cool off, and you can always go outside for more!