Tips from Rose, the Irish Setter and Kate, the English Springer Spaniel
By Rose Hill and Kate Power
Okay you know never to leave your four-legged companion in the car even if the windows are cracked. Right? So I don’t hafta tell you that. It gets really, really hot, really, really fast in a car. Think of it as a solar oven. The metal heats up and the glass doesn’t let the heat escape. The inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in 20 minutes when the temperature outside is only 80 degrees.
Don’t Leave Home Without Water
Always take water for your dog. Our two-legged companion keeps a gallon jug of water in the car all the time. That way if we get stuck in traffic or are out longer than expected, there’s water for us. There are these fancy collapsible water dishes you could take on a hike or walk or do what we do. Take a zipped locked baggie full of water. It’s cheap and easy to drink from. Water bottles don’t really work for us puppy pals. Most of the water ends up on the ground. And it’s hard to swallow when the water is coming down to us instead of us lapping it up. If you’re thirsty, we’re thirsty. Actually we get thirstier faster than you do.
Feel the Heat
Feel the pavement with your hand. If your hand gets an owie from the hot pavement, our paws will too. Walk or hike in the early morning before the sun has a chance to heat up the sidewalks and streets. You could go for a walk at night too, but there could be scary stuff out there like joggers. Sand and rocks heat up fast too, so think about that when you’re taking your best canine friend to the beach or lake.
Cool us down from the bottom up. Have you noticed that when dogs get hot at like, say, the dog park, they put their paws in the water and then lay down in the water or mud? Well except for Kate, she dunks her head in the water and blows bubbles. Anyways. Take a spray bottle of water with you when you go for walks, hikes or camping and spray our paw pads, chest and tummies, as well as our head and back.
Say No Thank You to Ice Water
You might think that dumping ice water on your dog would cool them down fast right? Wrong. Not a good idea. That huge change in temperature can be harmful to us. Cool water is okay, ice water no. Course if your dog is hot you can give them an ice cube to chew. Rose likes to chew on ice. Me, not so much. I don’t like ice cubes in my water bowl either and fish them out. Kinda makes a mess which is fun.
Don’t Sweat It and Dogs Don’t
I mean we don’t sweat, except on our paw pads. See two-legged companions sweat all over — which is kinda gross but after all they’re just humans. Dogs cool down by panting. So if you see us panting really hard it’s time to stop and cool off.
Made in the Shade
While you’re sitting there having a picnic, reading or just relaxing at the park, think about us. We need shade. Stretch a beach towel between two chairs and we can sit under the towel for shade. Or bring an umbrella — the kind that fastens onto a chair — and angle it so we have some shade.
To Shave or Not to Shave?
Unless your canine companion has a really thick coat, the answer is no. See you may think that we feel hot in our fur coats, cause you’d feel hot wearing a fur coat. But it doesn’t work like that. Our coat helps us regulate our body temperature. The fur traps cooler body-temperature air next to our skin. If you hafta trim us down leave at least an inch of fur so we don’t get sunburned. Yes, dogs can get sunburned.
Fill a cheap kiddie pool with fresh water and put it in the shade. When your dogs get hot she can cool off quick. Change the water every couple of days. Toss in some empty water bottles so they float in the water. It’s fun to chase the bottles.
Throw In the Towel
Okay so you’re not throwing in the towel you’re laying a wet towel on the ground or patio for your pooches to lay on and get cool. Course if they get bored they can always play tug-o-war with the towel. Kinda acts like dental floss for our teeth.
About the Authors
Rose Hill is a 12 year old Irish setter who was born in Bakersfield CA. Her hobbies include sink diving and counter surfing. Kate Power is a 10 year old, tri-color, English springer spaniel born in Tombstone, AZ. She loves to chase lights and shadows and stay as close as possible to her two-legged companions. Their first book is “Rose and Kate Unleashed: Observations, Advice and Humor from Two Very Opinionated Dogs.”