Summertime and the livin' is easy.
No sentence better describes the summer season than this lyric from the George Gershwin classic, Summertime. Even better when Ella Fitzgerald sings it.
But the truth of it is that summer is not always so easy for your dog or cat. Wrapped in fur, without sweat glands, and walking on hot pavement is no treat to say the least.
On a sweltering day your pet should be in only 2 places: indoor with the AC cranked full blast, or by the water. Nevertheless, your dog still needs to walk and do his business, unless of course he knows how to use a treadmill and toilet. If not, how do you prepare him for the heat?
For the walk it's easy enough: dowse his head and body with cold water and if it's really hot, wax his paws or even pull out those winter booties. Understand that steamy pavement and asphalt can burn and crack his paw pads which could lead to infections and other complications.
Okay, so we've addressed the exterior of your dog's body, but what about the inside, the mechanical room with the systems that keeps your pooch going? Is it getting enough of that elixir of life, aka, water? If he's not on a raw diet, I doubt it.
I think back to the bulldog owner who didn't heed my pearl of wisdom about switching his dog, Bruiser, to a raw diet. I don't like to be pushy, but it was obvious that something was wrong with his dog that steamy summer day when we crossed paths during our afternoon dog walks. Bruiser, was panting and drooling, struggling just to breath.
"I'll think about it," he said and that was the last I ever saw of Bruiser. He collapsed and died from heat exhaustion later that week.
Think about this: Water is the key component of a mammalian body, over 70% that is, just to give you an idea. You gotta keep that river flowing, maintain that equilibrium, you just gotta. And the best way to do is to feed your pet a raw diet, which by the way, has the same water:body ratio as your cat or dog does.
Consider this: Dry food has (on average) a moisture content between 6 - 10% which completely throws his body out of whack. Ever wonder why a dog on kibble will guzzle down his bowl of water like a Chicago Bear's fan on a beer keg? He needs to bring it back to equilibrium, his very survival depends on it. Imagine the toll that takes on the system. It's as if your dog needs to add coolant to his radiator twice a day!
Contrast this to a cat or dog on a raw diet, an animal whose body is constantly operating in an optimal environment, a stable equilibrium. Water is more like a topping to him, a refreshing way to cleanse the pallet and keep his internal river flowing at an ideal level.
"I'll think about it," Bruiser's owner said.
Wonder what he thinks about now.