Hot House With Dogs

Dear Liz,

My dog is lazy and spends much of his day inside.   The house gets hot quickly now that summer has finally arrived.  What’s the best temp to keep fido comfortable, without donating an arm, leg and tail to the electric company?

Signed,

Hot Dog

Dear Hotdog:  Well, the temps have been fairly ok but that humidity makes it just SO miserable for everyone – including Fido (and even Kitty!).

Not sure what the best temperature is, but I’d guess it’s what ever is comfortable for you.  Now, if you’re like me and you hate air conditioning, your pets may not agree with what I just said!  I’d guess around 70 is good.

If your pet has longer hair (dog or cat) and still seems uncomfortable in the heat and humidity, why not consider a summer shave?  (You may want to leave this up to a professional, though – especially for Kitty!)   I know from experience that certain dogs (and cats) love it when they’re shaved down for the summer. Remember that their coat is there to insulate them but that sometimes it can be in a bad way.  Shaving them down allows the release of heat more easily from their bodies.

One drawback, though, is that your pet may become more susceptible to sunburn!  Yep, pets get sunburn, too.  That insulating coat protects them from the sun’s rays as well, so make sure your pet is not kept outside for extended periods of time.

My pets also enjoy the coolness of the kitchen floor.  If your pet has a favorite place to lie down, consider a small fan to circulate the air around him / her.  My guys actually face the fan and seem to smile as the air blows into their faces (weird, gotta tell ya!).

Lastly, if you use a plastic kennel for your pet, please consider replacing it with a wire one.  The plastic kennels act as insulators as well and can make over-heating a real problem for your pet.  The plastic ones don’t allow air circulation very well, either.

Hope that helps!

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