While summer adventures are a blast, it’s important to ensure your pets stay safe and comfortable in the heat. Here are some tips to keep them cool during the summer!
Create Cooling Retreats: Cats and dogs love finding cool spots to beat the summer heat. Set up designated cool areas in your home with comfortable beds or mats placed in shaded areas. For cats, consider providing a cooling pad or even a chilled towel for them to rest on. For dogs, a small kiddie pool filled with water placed in the shade can offer a refreshing place to cool off and have some fun splashing around. These will give your pets a comfortable space to relax and escape the heat whenever they need a break.
Hydration: Staying hydrated is the name of the game! When out for walks, carry a portable water bottle and a collapsible water dish for quick water breaks. Help them stay cool by offering water frequently, especially during any outdoor activities. Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration like excessive panting and dry gums in dogs, and if you spot any, find some shade, and give your pet some cool, fresh water. Avoid giving them ice-cold water, as it can cause an upset stomach.
Paws Off the Pavement: Hot sidewalks are no fun for your pet’s precious paws. Before you set out on your adventure, test the pavement with the back of your hand – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Go for walks during cooler hours, like early mornings or evenings when the sun isn’t beating down on the pavement. If you can’t avoid the heat, consider getting your pet some boots or paw protectants to keep their paws pampered and blister-free.
Summer Grooming: Grooming can be a great way to help your pets stay cool and comfortable during the hot months. For both cats and dogs, frequent brushing helps remove loose fur and prevents matting, allowing air to circulate through their coats better. However, avoid shaving your pets’ fur too short, as their coats provide natural insulation against the sun’s rays and can protect their skin from sunburn. Consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer for advice on the best grooming practices for your specific pet’s breed and coat type.
Protect Against Sunburn: Yes, even our furry friends can get sunburnt! Light-colored or thinly-furred pets, as well as areas with less hair, are more susceptible. If needed, use pet-safe sunscreen on exposed areas like the nose, ears, and belly to protect against harmful UV rays. Speak with your veterinarian to find a sunscreen that’s safe for your specific pet.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke: Heatstroke is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. Familiarize yourself with its symptoms, which can include rapid breathing, vomiting, collapse, and seizures. In case of suspected heatstroke, take immediate action by moving your pet to a cool area, applying cool (not cold) water to their body, and seeking emergency veterinary care. Remember, heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires medical attention.
Road Trip Rules: If you’re planning a road trip with your pet, be sure to prioritize their safety and comfort. Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car, even for a short period of time. The temperature inside a parked vehicle can spike rapidly, which is dangerous and sometimes deadly for your pet. Ensure proper ventilation and air conditioning when traveling with your pet. Make regular stops for stretching, bathroom breaks, and water. Use a secure travel crate or harness to keep your four-pawed friends safe during the journey.
Frozen Treats: Treat your furry companions to some frozen treats to help them cool down and enjoy the season to the fullest. For both cats and dogs, you can make homemade frozen treats using pet-friendly ingredients. For pups, consider freezing small amounts of canned pet food or pureed fruits like bananas or watermelon in ice cube trays. Cats may appreciate small cubes of frozen tuna or chicken broth. Always ensure the treats are safe and suitable for your pets’ dietary needs.
With these tips, you and your pet can enjoy the sunshine safely. Have a great summer!