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Protecting Your Pooch From The Summer Heat

If it's hot to you, then chances are your pet is uncomfortable too. But there are some ways you can keep your "hot dog" as cool as a cucumber.

The Early Show's resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner, shared some important tips Monday to provide climate comfort for your canine.

Dogs And Heat:
Pets are more susceptible to the summer heat than humans. They do not have sweat gland on their whole body. So they are not that efficient of ridding the body of excess heat. The primary way a pet expels heat is through panting; they do have sweat glands on the bottom of their feet but that's not nearly enough to keep them cool in extreme heat. Do not over-exert your dog during the heat of the day. While they will try to keep pace with you while you jog, they can overheat very quickly.

Some pets are more vulnerable to the heat than others. They include elderly pets, "flat-face" animals (like pugs, Boston terriers, bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, etc.), very young animals, and sick pets. Also, overweight animals are more susceptible to the heat than a trim pet.

Heat Stroke:
If the animal is not cooled down they can suffer heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. The signs are panting, staring, anxious behavior, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, and collapse. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, get it to the vet.

Dogs And Sunscreen:
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn't necessarily shave a long haired dog in the summer: hair actually acts as a natural sunscreen for the pooch, so cutting your dog's hair really short in the summer could be putting him at risk to the dangers of the sun. Dogs can get sunburned just like people. Signs of sunburn are redness, swelling, hair loss, and sensitivity. Light-colored dogs with short hair are most vulnerable to sunburn. Use a sun block formulated for dogs, because dogs will inevitably groom themselves and ingest the sun block. The dog formulations are safe if the dog licks it off. Also, you may have to re-apply many times. The areas to apply sunscreen are the tips of the ears, nose, lips and groin. Places where skin is exposed to light without to protection of hair.

Summer Exercise
Our dogs still needs exercise in the summer, so be careful when you take her out for those daily walks. It is essential that you provide plenty of water and shade for your pet when they are outside with you. Our dogs love to go with us wherever we go, especially to the park. But beware of hot asphalt and concrete, as these hard surfaces can absorb a lot of heat and burn the surface of your pet's paws. When walking your dog during the summer, allow the pooch to walk on the grass. This is much more comfortable for them. If you live in an urban setting where grass is scare, then you may consider training your dog to wear booties to protect his feet from the hot asphalt. It's a good idea to avoid taking your dog outside during the heat of the day. Time his walks in the early morning, or late evening hours when the sun is not so intense.

Also, when taking your dog to the park or on a hike with you, be sure he is on a leash. You don't want him to dash after a bird or squirrel and run right into oncoming traffic. Your dog should be under your control at all times when not in your home, or fenced-in backyard.

Unattended Dogs In Hot Cars - A Big No-No:
And finally, never, ever leave you pet in the car unattended! The temperature inside the car can reach 120 degrees in just a matter of minutes, even with the windows down. According to the Humane Society of the United States, on an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car (with the windows opened) can reach 102 degrees in just ten minutes. It can reach 120 in 30 minutes. They say, "on hot and humid days, the temperature in a parked car in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute...." If you are not going to take you pet inside with you when you reach your destination, you should leave her at home, comfortable in the air conditioning.

Dr. Turner also brought along some products that may help keep your dog comfortable in extreme heat.

Ice Molds
Doggie Ice Bone. This is a simple plastic mold that forms a large dog shaped ice bone. It can be added to their water bowl to keep the water cool, or just handed to them for an ice treat. Simply fill with water and freeze-and you can add chicken or beef flavor for an extra treat. Price: $3.75 per unit.

Kool Dogz Ice Treat Maker. Entertains and hydrates your dog. You fill the reusable and freezable bucket with toys, treats and water. Then freeze. Upon freezing, un-mold into the provided steel base and place in your yard. Your dog will lick and bite it to get at the toys and treats while remaining cool. Price: $17.95 for a Junior (36 oz), $18.95 (96 oz).

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Stay-Cool Dog Clothing
Cooling Safety Vest for Dogs. Water-absorbing, cross-linked polymer crystals are sewn into the lining. Once saturated with water, the jacket works by evaporation. The evaporative process allows heat to transfer from the dog to the jacket, and from the jacket to the air. By submerging the jacket in water for just a few minutes, the crystals absorb enough to keep the evaporative process going for up to several days. Even when fully soaked, the jacket holds the water, keeping your dog cool and dry. Price: $32.00.

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Cooling Bandanas, different varieties. These bandanas work similarly to the above vest/jacket. They absorb up to 1,000 times their own weight in water and provide cooling relief that can last up to days. It fits around the dog's neck and absorbs their heat, while evaporating the water inside, creating a cooling effect. Price: from $2.99-8.99.

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Doggles. The ultimate eye protection for dogs. 100 percent UV protection, shatterproof, anti fog lenses, rubber frames for flexible, interchangeable and removable lenses, and an adjustable strap. Price: around $16.99.

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Booties. Easy on-and-off waterproof protection boots. They have a warm and soft fleece interior with non skid pads. These are perfect for urban and beach dogs, to save their paws from the hot concrete and scorching sand. Price from $18.50 for smaller dogs, to $22.00 for larger dogs.

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Cooling Beds
Water beds. There are two beds here that operate on the same technology. The pads that the dog lies on are filled with water, similar to a waterbed, then refrigerated or used directly. They are durable, and keep cool for hours. The square pad is covered with a sheet to match with your decor, and the rounded bed also comes with a heating pad, making it useful in both cold and warm weather. Price for pad: $37.95. Price for reversible heating and cooling bed: $89.95.

Elevated Dog Bed. The raised pet beds are unique, by using a cot style design, all of the advantage of a raised pet bed are now available to your pet. Not only is your pet elevated off the ground, but air flow is promoted on all sides, including underneath, keeping your pet cool and comfortable. The fabric unique fabric is also fleas, mite, mold, and mildew resistant. It feature lightweight yet strong steel frame that is easy to clean by simply hosing it down when needed. Price: $24.95.

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Dog Fans And Air Conditioners
Crate or Carrier Fan. High quality, two-speed fan protects your pets from uncomfortable, dangerous hot weather.Operates on 2 "D" batteries (not included) to provide up to 100 hours of cooling relief. Ultra quiet and easily clips to any standard wire crate, carrier or kennel. Price: $8.95.

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Dog House Air Conditioner. Light-weight, portable climate control system for your pet house. With 2500 BTU heating and cooling capacity, the PETCool system adjusts automatically to maintain a constant comfortable range of temperatures both as a dog house heater for winter and dog house air conditioner for summer, while also providing additional functionality as a de-humidifier lowering humidity levels 70 percent. Washable pollen filters control pet dander and hair, and slip out quickly and easily. All the accessories you'll need are included. Works with any pet house. Price: $475.95,

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Doggie Pool
There are two dog pools here. One is paw shaped for smaller dogs, the other is a large bone shape. They are durable, easy to fill, and a great way to keep your dog in your yard and cool as can be. Price: Bone (larger unit) 20.5 pounds empty $340.00. Paw, (smaller unit) six pounds empty. $165.00

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