Keeping pets cool during heat wave

Mercer 520

Patricia Nazario

Steven Flynn plays fetch with his dog, Bruno at the Silverlake Dog Park Monday morning. Most people in the play area huddled under a canopy shade to stay cool as their pets exercised.

You may keep the sunscreen handy, but it’s also a good idea to shield pets from too much sun exposure during this heat wave. KPCC's Patricia Nazario visited the Silverlake Dog Park this morning to see how owners are helping their four-legged friends cope with soaring temperatures.

Patricia Nazario: At 8 o'clock in the morning, rush hour traffic is still pretty thick by the Silverlake Reservoir. Inside the fenced play area, there's a couple dozen hardcore dog park users. Most are standing around chatting in the shade.

Steven Flynn: Bruno!

Nazario: Steven Flynn launches a tennis ball and his boxer mix, Bruno, fetches.

Nazario: Is this one of his favorite things to do while he's here?
Flynn: Yeah, he likes to fetch it and chew it. When it's hot, he doesn't last very long on the fetching part. There he goes.
Nazario: To the shade! How often do you guys come down?
Flynn: Embarrassingly, twice a day. (laughs)
Girl: Twice a day.
Jay Harick: Every day. Once a day, sometimes twice.

Nazario: Jay Harick is hanging out with his Bloodhound/Rottweiler mix from the pound, Reggie. Harick says his dog usually has the run of the park, and his choice of water bowls, when he arrives around breakfast time. But this week this relatively cool spot has been way more crowded than usual.

Harick: It's only because of the heat.
Nazario: When it is too hot, do they kinda get lazy? Are they not as into it?
Harick: Yeah, they get really lazy. Plus, it's not good for them. They overheat very quickly wearing a fur coat running around. (laughs)

Nazario: Harick says exercising dogs in the morning hours is the best way to help animals cope with scorching summer days. The pooch gets back indoors before midday and can nap when the sun's rays are at full throttle.

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