Podcast Episode 109: Keep Your Pets Cool

Saffron makes her podcast debut in Episode 109 – Keep Your Pets Cool!

Lots of ways to help your pets beat the heat.

Click below to play.

Play

You can listen to it here and or on iTunes.  We also have an RSS feed you can subscribe to if you use an RSS reader.

Check out these topics mentioned in the podcast:

Science News Bites: Shaking, Collars, Drinking

  • Dog shake physics—wet animals are so efficient at shaking water out of their fur, it probably has mechanical applications with washing machines, spin coaters, painting devices, etc.

  • Cat collars safer than previously thought. Lost cats are much less likely to be found than lost dogs, so researchers wanted to see how well cats would tolerate a collar & just how dangerous.  In one city surveyed, 40% of lost cats were indoor-only cats and fewer than 2% of lost cats are reunited with their owners, so indoor cats need collars with tags too.  In terms of safety, the study reported that out of 391 cats, only 18 cats got their collar stuck in their mouth, a limb, or another object.
  • Cats are masters of hydrodynamics. Cats average 4 laps per second without getting their chin or whiskers wet.  A column of water forms between the tongue and the surface of the liquid.  Dogs’ tongues scoop up water, while cats’ tongues don’t break the surface.  One of the researchers got the idea after watching his own cat drink milk.

DIY: Pet Water Fountain Using Tubing

catrockfountainHere’s a tutorial for a pretty easy and cheap diy water fountain for your animals. This one uses tubing to pipe the water up to make it easy for pets to drink.  The guy who did this tutorial used rocks to hide the hardware and give the water something to land on so it doesn’t splash, but I’m thinking you can use anything that can sit in water—a vase, a large glass, etc.

Water fountains are great for cats.  They’re instinctively drawn to running water and its a good way to increase their water consumption, which is important since kidney failure is so common in older cats

I think dogs also prefer fresh water, which is why so many will drink from the toilet if given the chance. A pet fountain will help stop that.  Just like humans are supposed to drink a certain amount of water a day, dogs also benefit from a healthy level of water consumption.

Check out this DIY Filtering Water Fountain too.

We Like: Portage Bay Float Coat By Ruffwear

Summer is almost here and that means humans & their dogs will be on or around the water. We often ask our dogs to do things that their instincts haven’t prepared them for, like boating. I don’t think dogs come equipped with sea legs or the ability to judge whether it’s safe to jump in a river to go after water fowl. Most dogs can swim, but even the best swimmer can be crippled by strong currents, hypothermia, or panic and end up drowning. A good life jacket could make all the difference. Keep those pups safe!

With a good life jacket, dogs with amputated limbs or mobility problems could still benefit from water exercise.  You won’t have to worry about your dog sinking or her head going under water.

We have the Float Coat which I love.  RuffWear designed a great canine life jacket.

We like the life jackets by RuffWear because:

  • it’s one of the few with foam under the body & under the head, providing much better buoyancy than jackets with foam just on the back, & it keeps dogs horizontal in the water
  • it fits very snugly & securely with wide sections across the chest and under the belly, 3 adjustable straps/clips, and velcro at the chest. This jacket won’t twist or cut into your dog the way jackets with unpadded nylon straps can.
  • it has a handle on the back making it possible to grab a dog to lift it from the water
  • the different foam thickness and the ergonomic tailoring makes for a comfortable fit and allows for good rang of motion, in particular, the front legs (Saffron actually seems to like wearing hers even out of the water.)
  • highly reflective piping and bright yellow material makes your dogs more visible (I recommend the yellow instead of the red, since yellow provides a stronger contrast)
  • there’s a D-ring for a leash and a loop to attach a light beacon
  • fabric on underside has tight weave so dog’s fur won’t get knitted into fabric
  • super easy to keep clean and dries quickly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b91ZVCJIS78