A guide to keeping your pets cool and safe this summer
The hottest time of the year has arrived in our part of the world. Don’t mind us, we’ll just be in front of this air conditioner all day. Known as the “dog days of summer”, this stretch can bring scorching weather and high humidity that makes it difficult to step foot outside. And the same goes for your pets. Because if it’s hot for you, it’s likely even more uncomfortable for your dogs, cats, and other pets. Let’s see some ways you can keep your pets cool, safe, and healthy all summer long.
While we love the idea of giving your pet a fun haircut for the summer (more on that below), there are plenty of other important things you should keep in mind.
Shade can be an animal’s best friend. Your pet will cool themselves by finding a shady spot. And if there isn’t shade available from a tree or building, try to create some with a tarp or sheet.
There’s also pet sunscreen! Who knew? Check out this article to find the best sunscreen for your pets.
Everyone loves a cold treat to help beat the heat. Try making one of these frozen dog treats to keep your pets cool.
These cooling collars are also great for extra hot days. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, just wet and freeze any bandana to tie around their neck. This will help keep your pets cool during those longer walks.
Give your pets a nice place to cool off in the house or basement after they’ve been in the sun. These cooling mats for dogs and cats can be used indoors or outdoors for added comfort.
Awareness has spread for this in recent years, but it bears repeating: Don’t leave your pet in a car even with the window cracked. If you need to run errands, leave your pets at home.
If you fear your pet is overheated, take them inside right away. Heatstroke requires immediate treatment by a veterinarian and it’s important to know and recognize the symptoms:
- Exaggerated panting and rapid breathing
- Raised temperature (normal is 101.5°)
- Fatigue or anxious expression
- Staggered walking
Pets need reliable access to fresh water. Putting ice in their outdoor bowls can help keep the water chilled. Playing “fetch” with ice cubes in place of their favorite ball and frequent drinks from the hose or kiddy pool are also fun ways to keep them hydrated, cool, and having a good time.
If you’re taking your dog out, try carrying one of these collapsible travel bowls so you can get them water whenever they need it.
Take it easy! Make sure you’re working out your pets in the coolest parts of the day, either first thing in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down. Test the pavement before you start by putting your hand on it; if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets’ feet. Try walking them on grass or get them some protective booties. You can even make them some homemade paw wax to protect their sensitive pads.
Before you shave all your pet’s hair, make sure you do your research. A lack of insulation and decreased sun protection from UV rays are some of the drawbacks from cutting your pet’s hair too short.
However, removing loose hair with regular trimming and brushing are important for keeping them cool. Taking them to a groomer is the surest way to get a safe, stylish trim.