As the summer sun continues to get hotter, it’s important that we not only keep ourselves cool but our pets too. While spending more time outdoors can be a great source of exercise and fun in the sun, it’s essential to be wary of heat exhaustion in your pets. Here are nine tips to help keep them cool in the summertime.
Offer Plenty of Water
Dehydration and heat exhaustion in pets can happen during the summertime. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eyes, dry gums and excessive drooling. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water inside and outside the house, and bring a container and a bottle of water for your pet when going on walks. Another option would be to switch to canned food during the summer to slightly increase fluid intake.
Provide Outdoor Shade
If your pet goes outside, be sure to provide proper shade. If large trees aren’t available, a small patio area with a canopy will do the trick. Collapsible shade tents are readily available at home improvement stores and can be folded and unfolded with ease.
Check the Pavement
Have you ever stepped on pavement barefoot? It can reach temperatures of up to 130 degrees, so be extra cautious while walking your pet in the summertime. Stick to an early morning or a late evening routine to ensure that your pet’s paws won’t get burned. If this isn’t possible, only walk your pet in the grass.
Keep Your House Cool
Leave the air conditioner on and close the curtains during the day when you’re gone. If your pet is crated, a fan can help to circulate air and remove warm air from the inside of the crate.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car
Even if it isn’t that hot outside, temperatures inside of a vehicle can skyrocket. On an 85 degree day, the car’s temperature can reach over 100 degrees within just ten minutes. Plus, people have been known to break windows in order to rescue pets from hot cars.
Make Cool Treats
For animal-friendly popsicles, make ice cubes with tasty treats inside. You can also fill and freeze a chew toy with peanut butter and kibble to make a chilly snack.
Take a Dip
Take your dog for a dip in the cool water! If you don’t have access to a pool or lake, a small child’s wading pool in the yard will suffice. Dog’s foot pads are one of the ways they can dissipate heat.
However, always be cautious when taking your pet to cool off. If you think your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, this could only make things worse.
Use a Wet Blanket
Wetting a towel that has been kept in the freezer is a great way to cool off your pet. A bag of frozen peas can also be used as an ice bag to cool your pet’s head, neck and back. The latter method will probably be preferred by felines everywhere.
Watch For Signs of Overheating
Your pets aren’t able to speak for themselves, so always keep an eye out for heat exhaustion, which can have these symptoms:
● Heavy panting
● Heavy drooling
● Trouble breathing
● Rapid heartbeat
● Dark or red gums and tongue
If you notice any of these signs, be sure to take your pet to the closest veterinary clinic immediately.