Cool Tips For Pets

It's time to get ready for summer, for beaches, barbecues and fun in the sun. But if you want your dog to join in on the outdoor activities, don't forget to protect your pet from summertime hazards.

CBS News spoke with Diane Vasey, editor-in-chief of the American Kennel Club Gazette, to get some tips on keeping your dog cool.


Most responsible dog owners know not to leave dogs in cars with the windows closed. But they also should know that pets, like people, should avoid strenuous exercise in the heat.

Vasey says to prevent dogs from getting heat stroke, make sure they have fresh, cool water.

She says some dogs can be taught to drink from a mist bottle. It is handy because you can use it to give it a drink and mist the hair, too. The water will evaporate, cooling the dog and making tge hair look good at the same time.

Or give your dog an ice bone. (Yes, a "bone" made out of ice.)

Other products can help your dog stay cool. One is a polar mat. Submerge the mat in water for 10 to 20 minutes and hang it up until it feels dry to the touch. It is filled with polar beads, which will keep the dog cool for a couple of days and give it a comfortable place to lie down.

There's also a handkerchief with Styrofoam beads in it that can be moistened and refrigerated to keep your dog cool for hours at a time.

Vasey also recommends that not shaving your dog to keep it cool. Dogs can get sunburned. If you already did, keep it covered in something cool and wet.

Keep in mind that lawn fertilizer isn't good for dogs either. Don't let a dog run around on the lawn until 24 hours after the fertilizer is applied.

Another tip comes from Jeff Pepper, a dog breeder and kennel owner and a proponent of dog water safety. He notes that pets can drown in pool accidents, because their owners assumed the dogs would instantly take to the water. Dogs do not swim naturally. You need to introduce them to water at a young age.

Also don't forgot that your dog may need help getting out of the water, he notes.

A dog that is not in top athletic condition may need a life preserver to make sure it is safe.

Vasey suggests that owners take a look at the "Canine Summer Safety Tips" on the American Kennel Club site.

©1999, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved