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Ask the Vet’s Pets: Our Own Dr. Lee Pickett Discusses the Heat & Your Pets

Ask the Vet’s Pets is an entertaining, educational veterinary advice column written by Dr. Lee Pickett and her pets. If you have a dog, cat or other pet and would like to learn more about veterinary care, please click here. You’ll find 800 pages of answers to questions asked by other pet lovers. One of Dr Pickett’s columnists is Daisy Dog. Daisy Dog is the pen name of Annie, an English setter rescued in 2005 at the age of five. She is bright, affectionate and eager to please.

Dear Daisy Dog

Now that the weather has turned warm, our Bernese mountain dog, Jack, digs through the mulch so he can lie in the cool soil. He’s tracking dirt and mulch into the house, and I’m the cleaning lady. Help!

Daisy Responds

I do the same thing, because the soil is so deliciously cool. Mom reacts as you do -– then immediately gets out the doggie pool (called a kiddie pool in the stores), sets it in the shade and fills it with cool water. The pool is even more fun than the dirt, because I can lie down in it, dunk my toys and splash my wolfhound brother. You won’t mind Jack’s dripping coat if you give him a summer “teddy bear” haircut. Get rid of the long, thick hair, but leave a few inches to protect his skin from the summer sun. If Jack doesn’t like water, you can cool a shaded area of the patio by hosing it off occasionally. Or entice him with a wood pallet covered by tile or a sheet of vinyl. If his Swiss mountain heritage is particularly strong, you may need to position an electric fan at a shaded outdoor area. Or just explain to him the virtues of air-conditioned indoor living during the warm summer months.