Keeping nice and cool during the summer can seem like a full-time job. But do not forget about those furry friends. While they do not have a voice to complain, your house pets suffer in the heat, too. The tools to keep them cool are many, including buying a pet air conditioner, shaving their coat and more. Mix and match some of the different methods to help your dog or cat beat the heat.

Basic Needs
Before going into all of the various gizmos and gadgets, there are some simple things you can do before sitting the store which can make all the difference. For starters, s dog's natural pet air conditioner is his tongue, since dogs do not sweat. If you keep his core temperature cooler he will not have to work so hard and pant as much. To that effect, give and maintain fresh, cold water throughout the day, especially during the hottest hours. The easiest ways to keep the temperature down is placing bowls in the shade and away from direct sun. Also, a few added ice cubes will prolong the cool and makes for a crunchy treat. Plastic and ceramic bowls tend to stay cooler than do metal, which absorbs and retains more heat.

Location
If you can not afford a standard pet pet air conditioner unit, you still have some control over your pet's environment. Keeping dogs in shaded areas, preferably open to breezes is what you should strive for. If their doghouse is light enough enough, or if they are tied up, try to move them as the sun moves so you can follow the shade. Ideally, if you can bring your pets inside when it's sweltering, that's the best way to ensure their well-being.

Pet Air Conditioner
For animals that are outside for long periods of time, a pet air conditioner can be a lifesaver. These freestanding units work to cool and heat (in winter) dog and cathouses, as well as dehumidify against mold accumulation. There's also portable models which attach to crates and carrying cases that operate on battery or electrical power from outlets and car cigarette lighters.

Micro-Beads
Humans have already capitalized on the innovation of micro-beads embedded in clothing and accessories. They're perfect for outdoor activities, so surely they're great for pets, too. They are designed to retain the cold in the same way as freezer packs, so you can soak them in cool water or keep them refrigerated before use and they will stay cool for long periods and give off a cool feeling as the moisture evaporates. For dogs, there are special micro-bead bandannas and body wraps which cover various parts of their bodies but will not irritate them.

Dog Cooler Mat
Another pet air conditioner that works using evaporation is a specially designed mat called the Dog Cooler. These look similar to regular dog beds. The way in which they work is that the material inside the mat evaporates, causing the mat to feel cooler, and releasing cold moisture onto the surface. A dog lying on top of the non-toxic mat will stay cool and moist, significantly lowering their core temperatures.

DIY Tricks
There are also some at-home tricks you can try. Many of these things you may already own but did not think about to use in this way. The thing about any of these products is that a pet may or may not like them, so trying some things at home for free is a good way to test the waters. Fans and mice will appeal to some dogs, but not all. A kiddie swimming is pretty popular, and chances are you may already have one lying around. These appeal to most dogs' love for water, but when using them be sure to change out the water regularly. As quickly as the water can heat up in the small, plastic space, it can turn from a cool dip to a hot tub.

Grooming
Keeping your pet's hair in check will help tremendously. Something like a pet air conditioner is great for when a dog is resting in the comfort of his doghouse, but what about when they are running around in the hot sun? Shaving a dog's coat is popular, particularly among long-haired breeds and those bred for colder climates. When you have your pet shaved, have the groomer leave one quarter inch of fur. Then, keep your pet inside in the sun for about a week to acclimate. The reason for doing this is because dogs can get sunburned just like humans, and exposing skin which has not seen the light of day for some time, if ever, is a recipe for disaster.

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