Excited to welcome the warmer summer months with your puppy? From beach trips to trekking, summer is the perfect time to go outdoors and enjoy the heat. However, if you’re planning on taking your pet with you on your outdoor escapades, it’s best to come prepared when it comes to refreshments and cooling solutions for your pets.
Pets have a unique way of regulating their body temperature, but what may be effective for you may not be as applicable to them. To avoid any instances of your pet overheating – or worse suffering from heat stroke – it’s best you know the best ways to keep your pets cool during the summer.
In this article, we’ll give you some of the best ways to lower your pet’s temperature when the heat becomes too much for them.
8 Ways to Keep Your Pets Refreshed and Safe During Hot Days
To help you give your pets a safe environment when temperatures are high, here are some tips that you should follow:
- Provide access to plenty of fresh, clean water:Make sure your pet has access to fresh, clean water at all times. The most effective way to keep them hydrated is to provide multiple water bowls throughout your home or yard so that they can cool off whenever the need arises.
- Keep your pet indoors during the hottest parts of the day: Avoid taking your pet for walks or letting them spend time outdoors during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Limit their daily walks to the early morning or late afternoon, when the temperatures are cooler.
- Provide a cool, shady place to rest: Make sure your pet has access to a cool, shady spot where they can rest and escape the heat. This could be a covered patio, an air-conditioned room, or a shaded area in your yard.
- Use a cooling mat or pad: Consider investing in high-quality cooling mats or pads to give your pet during the summer. Cooling mats can provide a comfortable place for your pet to rest and can help lower their body temperature.
- Freeze treats or toys: Freeze treats or toys for your pet to enjoy on a hot day. You could freeze a toy in water or freeze some low-sodium chicken broth in an ice cube tray for your pet to lick. You may also make fruit popsicles for a healthy and fun summer treat for your pet.
- Avoid leaving your pet in a parked car:Temperatures inside a parked car can quickly rise to dangerous levels, even on average days. To be on the safe side, never leave your pet in a parked car, even for just a few minutes. If it cannot be avoided, keep your engines running and the air condition on to keep them cool while you run to get something.
- Give your dog a cool water mist:Some pets enjoy being misted with cool water from a spray bottle, but make sure not to soak their fur.
- Consider giving them a pool to swim in:Fill up a small doggy pool and let them play in it when it becomes too hot.
Other Reminders for Dog Owners for the Summer Months
Aside from ensuring that your pet is kept cool during the summer months, there are also a few other reminders that dog owners need to heed to ensure that their dogs are happy and safe. These include:
- Protect your dog’s paws from hot pavement or surfaces: If the pavement feels hot on your feet, it’s probably too hot for your dog’s paws too. Protect your dog’s paws by walking them on grass instead or on shaded areas where the pavement is cooler. For extra protection, you may also give them protective dog booties or rub protective paw balm on their paws before heading out.
- Watch out for ticks and fleas: Welcoming the warmer months means that we’re also welcoming the influx of insects, including ticks and fleas. Before heading out, ensure that your pets have updated tick and flea treatments so that you can avoid flea infestations at home.
- Groom your pets: For pets with thick coats, consider taking your pets in regularly for grooming sessions. Have professional groomers cut your dog’s coat to shorter lengths so that they can regulate their temperature better during hot weather.
- Apply animal-safe sunscreen: While your pets have full coats of fur that can protect them from the heat and cold, some areas of your pet’s face may still be prone to sunburn, including their nose, ears, and belly. Apply animal-safe sunscreen every time you go for a walk so that they’re protected from potential sunburn.
- Don’t leave your dog’s ears moist:Is your pet fond of swimming in pools or playing around your sprinklers to cool off? While these are effective ways to refresh themselves, it’s important to keep your dog’s ears dry every after bath time or pool time. This will help protect your pets from yeast or other fungal infections that may arise from moist ears.
Be Familiar With the Most Common Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs
While keeping your pet cool should be at the forefront of your summer plans, it’s also important that you know how to properly tell if your pet is suffering from heatstroke. Heatstroke is a serious condition that can occur when a dog’s body temperature rises above a safe level, typically 103°F (39.4°C). Some breeds are especially prone to overheating such as French Bulldogs and Labrador retrievers.
To help you, here are some of the most common signs of heat stroke.
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Reddened gums or tongue
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Weakness or collapse
- Seizures or convulsions
- Difficulty breathing
- Lethargy or unresponsiveness
- Tremors or shaking
If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, move them to a cool, shaded area as soon as possible and give them cool, clean water. Put a damp towel over their body to help lower their temperature, and contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you can, bring them to the emergency veterinary services so that a licensed professional can immediately give them the care they need.