Summer temperatures are upon us, which means that the days are longer and filled with more fun for you and your pets.
While sunny days offer the promise of heading to the park, beach, or just on more walks, they also come with a concern for keeping your friends cool. Animals do their best to adapt to the changing seasons, but it is our responsibility to ensure their safety and keep them away from the threat of heat exhaustion.
Keeping your furry friends happy when the sun becomes unbearable is easier than you might think! There are frozen DIY treats that can be made with very few ingredients and collapsible water bowls that are a simple way to guarantee your pet’s hydration.
Here are a few other tips to help your pals stay happy on those blistering days!
10 Careful Grooming
Regularly brushing for your pet is crucial in maintaining their coat. Regardless of the season, it’s important to ensure that fur is never matted or disheveled. Although it might seem like their layers of fur act as a blanket, you should never have it entirely shaved off. Animals can get sunburned just like us, and their natural protection involves that fur. Double coated dogs might look like they can’t handle the heat, but in warmer weather, they actually shed their undercoat and can manage just the same as dogs with seemingly less fur. Shaving can actually change their coat’s texture, causing it to become coarse.
9 Consider Asphalt Temperatures
Humans usually wear shoes, so we don’t always realize the temperatures that pavements can reach. When considering walking your dog, or cat, on a hot day, think about their paws touching the asphalt. Even if the weather seems almost bearable for a short stroll around the block, it could be overwhelmingly hot for them to roam on the sidewalk. You could give them special shoes like some owners who put snow boots on their furry friends when the temperatures are too low. However, it might be best to spend the hottest days indoors and out of the clutches of heat exhaustion.
8 Frozen DIY Treats
There are numerous pet treats out there that involve little time and few ingredients to make. If you freeze them beforehand, they’ll provide a nutritious treat that doubles as a way to cool pets off. Dogs love peanut butter, and as long as the ingredients are all natural – no added sugars, especially artificial sweeteners – you can fill up an ice cube tray and make snacks! You might even want to try one yourself on those hot days. Of course, you should always be cognizant of any allergies that your individual pet might have, and adjust your recipes to their needs. You can also put certain toys in the freezer to give them something cool to chew on.
7 Bringing Water On Walks
This might seem like an obvious point, but many people do not bring water on walks with their pets. There are several collapsible pet water bowls that you can take and fill with water from your personal flask. Hot days will dehydrate animals quickly, and even if you’re only out for a short period of time, they’re bound to get thirsty before you return home. Your pet cannot verbally express their feelings, so it’s best to not leave anything up to interpretation, and just keep the water on hand. This is especially useful for days at the park, or if you’re worried about your pet drinking from communal water bowls.
6 Night Strolls
The sun is out quite a lot during summer, but in those hours following the sunset (or even before a sunrise), a walk might be doable. No one wants to keep their pet inside for days at a time, so this is a compromise that won’t leave your furry friend panting excessively. This is also a great way to get your animal tired and ready for bed. Early morning and late evening walks are great exercise for both of you, and can start and end your day with awesome health benefits!
5 Be Mindful Of Certain Breeds
Although most animals don’t enjoy overbearingly hot temperatures, there are some that tolerate it a lot worse than others. Dogs with shorter snouts are more susceptible to falling ill in heat waves. These include pugs, boxers, bulldogs, and more. Overweight and elderly dogs can also feel the effects of the weather much easier, so it’s important to keep that in mind. Even though our furry friends might not show their age the way we do, it’s important to keep in mind that their bodies change over time as well. Always monitor their behaviors during hot weather to ensure that they are not feeling uncomfortable or sick.
4 Kiddie Pools and Hoses
If you have any outdoor space to offer your pet some relief in the form of a quick pop-up water park, try purchasing a small kiddie pool. Blow up pools might be easier to store, but harder plastic ones are probably more claw-friendly. You can even find fun toys to include in their new outdoor accessory. Otherwise, you can just try hosing them down if they don’t mind water. Turn bath time into a fun way to beat the heat!
RELATED: Tips For Walking A Dog In A Heatwave
3 Damp Towels
While some pets are keen to jump into kiddie pools and bathtubs, others just fear the water under any circumstance. If your friend would prefer not getting hosed down, try wetting towels with cool water and patting it onto their bodies. It’s a less scary way to ensure that they aren’t missing out on the relief of a cool bath. This is also a fair technique for pets in between baths, or for when you’re too tired to let them roam through pools of water and attempt to clean them before they soak the house. Cats might prefer this route the most.
2 Ice Cubes
Cats and dogs can be given ice cubes, and you might want to consider leaving some in their water bowls to keep the water temperature low. If you’re not sure how your pet will react to ice, start off with smaller chunks that won’t cause them to break their teeth. Aggressive chewers might find danger in larger ice cubes, but many dogs love them. Teething puppies can also use this as a way to soothe their gums. However, be aware of giving an overheated pet ice water, as it could shock their system. In the case of a pet suffering from heat exhaustion, you should gradually bring down their body temperature by offering them cool water to drink and pouring cool water on them. Don't give ice water and ice baths to a pet inflicted with heat stroke.
1 Providing Shade
If you have an outdoor area that provides your pet with fresh air, you should ensure that there’s adequate shade for them to rest. They should never be left in direct sunlight, especially if they spend quite a lot of time outside. If your dog has a doghouse outside, check how hot it gets. Although this provides shade, a small, enclosed space like that could heat up and harm your friend.