Tips To Help Beat The Heat

    By Alicia Bailey

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    We desert dwellers are experts on hot summers, and whether you’re a full-time resident or a brave weekend visitor, a summer safety plan for your pet is a must. One thing that summer in the Coachella Valley demands is switching up your schedule to enjoy the cooler parts of the day: early mornings and evenings. It can be a challenge to find activities for you and your pet that will keep you both cool, but if you’ve just got to get outside—or into someone else’s air conditioning—here are some tips on how to survive and thrive during the Coachella Valley summer.

    Walk It Out

    Summer is the time to greet the day and embrace the evening. Your pup needs the benefits of her daily walk, and a little preparation will go a long way in keeping her happy during the sweltering summer. You can get in a quality walk or even a light hike if you time it right, take it slow, and don’t forget to prepare and protect your pup from the elements. Here are some must-have summer supplies to get off on the right paw:

    ■ Night light for walks during low light times

    ■ Paw protection booties

    ■ Cooling vest, harness, or collar

    ■ Portable water container

    ■ LED collar and leash for walks at dawn or dusk

    ■ Sunscreen and an after-sun snout and paw soother

    ■ Cooling pads for plopping down on after walk

    ■ Chilled snacks

    You can pick up all these and more at your local pet supply shop, but here are some favorites from a few Coachella Valley retailers:

    My Dog Knows It! Body + Coat Spray is easy to use on your pets and, unlike human sunscreens, is free of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both of which are toxic to pets.

    — Suggested by EarthWise

    The Bear and The Rat Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats are made with natural ingredients you can pronounce and digestive enzymes to make this a cool treat you’ll want to stock up on. They also have frozen treats for cats, too!

    — Suggested by Treat Buddy

    K-9 Chill Cooling Collar helps regulate your dog’s body temperature and combat overheating. Made of lightweight material, it can be dunked in water and placed around your dog’s neck to help him chill during the summer months.

    — Suggested by PoshPetCare

    Swell doggy gelato is a premium treat made with simple but wholesome ingredients for the dogs you love. Three gelato flavors: Banana Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Cheddar and vegan Sweet Potato Molasses.

    — Suggested by The Pet Oasis

    Gulpy Water Dispenser is a summer classic and an absolute must for convenience in keeping your dog hydrated. Available in 10- or 20-ounce sizes, it’s designed to be used on the go, with a leak-proof valve and easy pivot opening.

    — Suggested by Bones-n-Scones

    Ultra Paws Cool Dog Boots keep your pup’s paws protected from scorching sidewalks, streets and hiking trails. Featuring a mesh upper for airflow, a cushioned closure, and adjustable fasteners, these boots were made for walking!

    — Suggested by Treat Buddy

    Air Mesh Harnessesare made from light-as-a-feather mesh with a no-choke design and come in many styles, colors, and sizes. These harnesses are designed and handmade in Palm Springs. — Suggested by Spoiled Dog Designs

    The Green Pet Shop Dog Cooling Mat was designed for large dogs and is pressure-activated to provide an consitently cool surface for up to three hours. It’s lightweight, foldable, and requires no refrigeration.

    — Suggested by PoshPetCare

    Nite-Ize LED Dog Collars safely illuminate around your dog’s neck, providing visibility up to 1000 feet. The collar can be set to “glow” or “flash,” is water-resistant, and offers up to 100 hours of battery run time.

    — Suggested by Bones-n-Scones

    WaterRover is a durable, lightweight water bowl and attached bottle. The leak-free bottle has a clip to attach to a belt or pack and has a wide mouth bottle. It is waste-free, too, the extra water tips back into the bottle when done.

    — Suggested by The Pet Oasis

    Coolaid Evaporative Vests are designed with Coolcore technology built into the fabric’s fibers. This chemical-free option is excellent for dogs on the run. Simply wet the vest, wring out the excess water, and slide onto your dog for a cool day of play.

    — Suggested by Spoiled Dog Designs

    Natural Dog Company Snout Soother is an organic, vegan healing balm, great for dry skin around the face, lips and ears. Scent-free and made with natural SPF benefits, this soother a must-have.

    — Suggested by EarthWise

    Safety Tips

    Check surface temperatures with your hand. Be sure to leave your hand on the ground surface for 5 to 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

    Take a rattlesnake aversion training course. Check with your vet’s office for their next workshop, or contact Natural Solutions at rattlesnakeaversion.com for workshops in your area.

    Don’t leave your dog in a hot car. In most California cities, it is against the law to leave your animal unattended in your vehicle. Even if you leave them inside briefly with the car running, air-conditioner on, and a bowl of water on the floor, it’s not enough. A pet in a car during the warm months is like a pet in the microwave. Vehicle temperatures skyrocket quickly, and pets do not have sweat glands like we do, so they overheat very easily and fast. The results can be deadly, so do the right thing and never leave your pet inside the car. It’s not worth the risk.

    Find the Mister Spots

    See page 8 for a list of pet-friendly establishments with cooling misters. Take advantage of these brief reprieves and reserve your favorite table under the misters.

    And Some Other Ideas

    Road trip. Get. Out. Of. Town. This is something you’ll hear yourself and others say somewhere around the second month of summer. The sweltering summer months are the perfect time for day and weekend trips to the dog beach, mountains, or a cool urban retreat. Check out our travel section online for trip ideas to Idyllwild, San Diego, Los Angeles, Northern California and more.

    Take a cool break. Hit the mall or visit one of the valley’s cooling centers. The LGBT Center, Cathedral City Senior Center, and the Joslyn Center are a few of the numerous pet-friendly cooling centers in the area. Your well-behaved pet is welcome on a leash or in a secure carrier. Be sure to check the temperature of the parking lot before heading in, or use a crate or stroller to get your pet indoors. A full list of cooling centers can be found at cpuc.ca.gov/CoolingCenters/.

    Cool cats hunker down. Aren’t you lucky that your cat is perfectly content to stay home with you? Be sure to keep up their enrichment and exercise activities during the long, hot summer. Try new food puzzles, games, and even training. Does your cat high five you? Sit on command? Believe it or not, you can teach your cat these tricks and many others. Petfinder has some great tips on how to get started (petfinder.com/cats/cat-behavior-and-training/how-to-teach-a-cat-tricks/). If you have a catio (an enclosed cat patio), install misters or a ceiling fan for a cool summer upgrade.

    Couch surfing keeps you cool. If you are in a “Netflix and chill” kind of mood, here’s how to make it the best day ever:

    ■ Start early and get a walk or light hike in. Be sure to bring water, no matter how briefly you’re planning to be outside. It’s better to be over prepared.

    ■ Poolin’ around is a must. If you have your own pool, take a few quick dips with your pup throughout the day, and don’t forget the sunscreen, lifejackets and pool toys! If you don’t have a pool, don’t worry. Sprinklers, the garden hose, and an old-fashioned kiddie pool can turn a blasé day into a treat-yourself kind of day.

    ■ Food puzzles, snuffle mats, homemade treats, and training games are great for summer days at home. Get some easy DIY ideas from the Pet Companion Magazine’s Summer 2018 article, Boredom Busters.

    ■ Order in. Skip the sweltering trek to the market and use a delivery service like InstaCart for groceries and Post Mates for restaurant delivery, drugstore runs, pet supplies and select grocers.

    ■ Embrace the evening for a longer walks, playing outside, and nighttime swims.

    Leave your pet at home. The summer is not the time to take your pet with you everywhere you go. Outside of a well-planned pup outing, leaving your dog and cat home in the air conditioning is the safest option for summer.

    If you’re traveling to the desert, check in with your hotel about the rules for pets. Some establishments will allow you to leave your dog in your hotel room while you’re out. If your hotel doesn’t allow pets to be left alone, there are several dog daycare centers your dog will enjoy. Check out our resources guide for a complete list.

    Summer Pup Camps

    Day camp isn’t just for kids. Summertime is the perfect time to give your dog the experience of meeting new friends and learning new skills at “doggie day camp.” Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Palm Springs

    Doggie’s Day Out of Palm Springs offers a cool place for your pup to play, lounge, and make new friends. The DDO staff makes sure to spice things up with water play, doggie photo shoots, fun training games, and other enrichment activities.

    Palm Desert

    Barkingham Pet Hotel California—whether your pup just wants some metime or the full summer camp experience, Barkingham Pet Hotel has you covered. It offers luxury suites for day and overnight stays, as well as an air-conditioned indoor dog park, a dog beach and much more for your pup to enjoy.

    Venus De Fido has a public indoor dog park, where you can play with your pup. The park is always a cool 68 degrees, and offers a plethora of events for you and your pup. If you can’t stay and play, Venus de Fido also offers doggie daycare.

    Indio

    The Grand Paw offers both day camps and boarding for their clients. In addition to indoor and outdoor play areas you’ll find a huge swimming pool for those who enjoy making a splash. Pool groups are every Tuesday and Thursday, and cuddle sessions, walks, and games of fetch can be arranged!

    Bermuda Dunes

    Dream Dogs’ roster of classes and activities offer something for every dog, including basic training, agility, scent work, and barn hunts. They also have a drop-off day camp option, where your dog can socialize, play, and brush up on their training commands.

    Kennel Cough Reminder

    Doggie daycare, boarding and other situations where multiple dogs are in close contact with each other help with the spread of infectious diseases like kennel cough. Most facilities require up-to-date vaccinations and are diligent about hygiene, keeping germs to a minimum. You can help, too, by recognizing the symptoms and keeping your sick dog at home when it is contagious. If you suspect kennel cough, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

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