Friday, July 8, 2016

How to Keep Your Furry Friend Cool This Summer

WESTLAND, Mich.––Our furry friends are as much a part of our families as a brother or sister. We care for them the best we can and go out of our way to protect them from harm. Sometimes, there are unforseen dangers that can be avoided with awareness and a little extra care. Take summer for instance. While summer is a fun time for all of us, it can often be a burden to an animal who doesn't have a voice to speak up when they're uncomfortable. We know you care for your pet, so take some extra steps to help them be their happiest! We've come up with some tips on how to keep your furry friend cool this summer that you can implement now.

1. Reschedule Your Walks or Outdoor Time

If your schedule allows for it, try to walk your pet during the early morning hours or late evening hours when the temperature drops. It's a simple switch that'll help your pet stay more comfortable during exercise, especially since they don't have the ability to cool down as quick as we do. If you're a runner, we recommend leaving your pet at home as it can cause your pet to become excessively hot in the summer weather. If your dog is a swimmer, this can help them cool off, so go for it! Fun fact: dogs actually sweat out of their paw pads and use panting as a way to regulate temperature!

2. Don't Give Them a Haircut

While you may be thinking "less hair, less heat", giving your pet a haircut is counter-intuitive to keeping them cool! Think of your pets coat as insulation. The insulation keeps them from getting too cold in the winter, but it also stops heat from coming in during the warmer months. Your pets have natural body functions that can help them cool down, so cutting their fur can actually hurt their ability to do so. If your pet is outdoors, their hair will also hide their skin from the sun. Just like us, their skin needs UV protection, too. DO brush them regularly as this will allow for better air flow in their fur.

3. Always Keep Fresh Water Available

This tip is a no-brainer for some, but it's worthy of mentioning! For any of your pets, it's important to have the essentials ready for them when they want it. While they can whine and meow, they don't have a voice to say what exactly is wrong. Hydration is key to keeping their bodies functioning normally, even in hot weather. Make sure fresh water is available in multiple spots for their convenience, and never take them outdoors with them without a bowl and water. You can find collapsible bowls and travel water bottles that are more convenient to tote around when you're outside.

4. Be Aware of Signs Your Pet is Having Heatstroke

Your pet may look hot and may be panting like crazy, but how do you know if they're having heatstroke? The signs of heatstroke include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, lethargy, difficulty breathing, vomiting, seizure, lack of coordination, rapid heart beat, excessive thirst, red or purple tongue, dizziness, profuse salivation, and unconsciousness. Pets who are more at risk are very young, very old, overweight, or not used to regular exercise. Pets that are more highly at risk have short muzzles or snouts like pugs, shih tzus, french bulldogs, boxers, etc. from which they cannot breath as well. Moving your pet to a shaded area or air conditioned space, applying cold towels or ice packs to the head and neck, and even wetting the fur can help a pet cool down; however, if your pet is really having heatstroke, get to the vet right away!

5. Give Them Special Treats

You may have heard the myth that giving a dog ice when they're hot can seriously harm them, but it is not true. Lots of pets love ice cubes and cool treats, and summertime is the perfect season to enjoy them. You can put ice cubes in their water bowl, freeze treats in water or chicken broth, make your own frozen dog treats, or even invest in toys that can be put in the freezer. Be aware that aggressive chewers can risk damaging their teeth on frozen treats. If you're worried your pet is having heatstroke, don't waste time trying to get them a drink or ice cube to cool them down, get them to a vet or emergency clinic immediately.

We care about our furry friends and want you to help them be the best they can be! With these tips on how to keep your furry friend cool this summer, you can enjoy the season together. We want to not only help you keep your pets cool, but also your car! When your pets do travel with you, you'll want to ensure your AC and Cooling system are up to date for a chilled ride they can be comfortable in. Make sure to check out all our Summer Car Care pages for tips on how to maintain your vehicle and keep it cool and protected in the sun.

If you need a new or used vehicle that better suits your and your pets lifestyle, we'll help you find one at North Brothers! We have plenty of awesome options with lots of space, especially within the current Ford model lineup, but also in our used and certified pre-owned inventory. We recommend checking out the new 2016 Ford Flex which has tons of cargo space and performance capability. We'd love to show you vehicles that include Ford SYNC which allows you to stay connected, hands-free on the road.

North Brothers Ford is located at 33300 Ford Rd Westland, MI 48185 and proudly serves as one of the premier dealerships in Metro Detroit, and is committed to exceptional customer service! Stop by or give us a call at 888-806-7163, our knowledgeable and helpful sales team will be more than happy to assist you!

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