Keep Your Animals Cool, but Don't Do This...
Baby it's hot outside and you might think that shaving your cat and dog will cool them off. According to Dr. Karen Becker this is usually wrong!
Nature designed the coats of dogs and cats to provide insulation from the cold and the heat. Unless a dog or cat has a medical reason to be shaved it's best to leave their coats intact. Too short a cut or a close shave can not only make them susceptible to sunburn and even skin cancer, it can make them feel more vulnerable, lead to depression, acting out, hiding, feeling ashamed, and other emotions and behaviors that will make you feel terrible.
Keep them Cool
1) Keep shedding hair off and stop mats and tangles before they start. Start when your long-haired dog or cat is young and introduce them to the pleasure of grooming. Begin with a soft brush and stroke them wherever it's pleasurable. Their backs, necks and the face of your cat. Think, "If I was mother dog or cat, where would I start?" Hold the intention for brushing to be loving and create pleasure for your sweet friend. Work your way to more sensitive areas slowly. By starting this way, you'll set them up to love brushing!
2) Opt for a "puppy cut" instead on a long-haired dog. A puppy cut is an over all trim that eliminates long, straggly hair and gets rid of any tangles and debris that may have gotten matted into your dog's fur.
3) Get a Kiddie pool and keep the water fresh. Your water-loving dog will have a blast and keep you entertained as well.
4) Always provide shade and water outside and monitor the heat. Bring them inside after a few minutes if they are panting even when lying down in the shade. Take water with you on a walk if it's hot. Remember that the sidewalk can be very hot on their paws. Avoid blacktop and choose dirt, grass (as long at hasn't been treated with chemicals) and allow them to show you if their feet are hot. If so, get them in the shade or car.
Check paws and apply body temperature water. Once home, watch for excessive licking. You can apply cooled chamomile tea, calendula salve. Be careful with aloe, as it could irritate their tummies. See my article for aloe precautions here.
To Bathe or not to Bathe
1) Bathing for cats, unless they are a Maine Coon, is usually an ordeal. Do you know why? Well, first of all it's very invasive and humiliating. Secondly, our cats are descended from a desert-dwelling ancestor. Water was rarely available except in the form of seasonal rains and never was one safe immersed in it! Think, "I'm drowning!" or, "I'm going to be a crocodile's lunch!" Instead, trim around their bottoms and keep brushing.
2) Many dogs love the water but hate baths. Why? Slippery tubs for one reason. Always have a non-skid mat in the tub for your dog. Another reason: shampoos, conditioners and synthetic fragrances! Most dog shampoos contain stuff that's NOT good for their coats and skin. Avoid most of these and stick with a simple fragrance-free castille soap, diluted with lots of water. Do not bathe your dog too frequently. (Weekly is much too frequently, even monthly is too much for most dogs.)
Rinse them off after a romp in the ocean and definitely give them a bath if they've been out in the rain on a golf course or park where chemicals have been applied! (See my article on the deadly dangers here.) Be sure there are no algae blooms in lakes or ponds they swim or drink from. This algae is TOXIC and can be FATAL.
If your dog is odoriferous, there could be a physical problem. Dogs and cats should not smell "bad." This can indicate digestive woes (fixed with a species appropriate diet), difficulty releasing toxins (sluggish liver and lymphatic system) or cancer. Bathing will not address these problems. Let's do an animal communication chat with them to get to the bottom of the "odor" and/or check in with your holistic vet. Click here if you're a returning client, or here if you're new to me.
In conclusion, keep your beloved cool by eliminating extra hair and offering cooling solutions that fit their needs and desires. Then you'll have a very happy companion!
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,