We wait patiently throughout the winter for the weather to warm up so that we can get out and enjoy the sunshine with our pets. Yet once it finally arrives, we worry that our pets will overheat and succumb to heat exhaustion.
However, there are many ways that we can help our pets to keep cool and refreshed in the summer heat. By paying close attention to weather conditions and arranging our plans accordingly, there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the summer sun with our pets in a healthy and risk free way.
Make sure water is always available
When at home keep water bowls in the house and in the garden. Make sure that it is replaced with fresh water a few times a day, which will also ensure that it won’t get warm. You can add ice cubes to water if your pet looks overly hot, which will make it even more refreshing. A Rosewood Chillax Cool Soak Bone Dog Toy is a great way to offer them extra water refreshment, whilst being a fun toy to play with.
If you are venturing away from home be sure to take plenty of fresh water with you for the journey. Keep it in a cooler box to guarantee it is kept colder for longer. A PetGear Travel Water Bottle is perfect for offering your pet cool water when out on the move. It has a leak proof bottle and an attached bowl that is compact and lightweight.
Time your walks carefully
The middle part of the day is usually the hottest, so try to avoid taking your pet for a walk between midday and 3pm if possible. Early mornings and later evenings are much cooler, so these are generally the best times to go out. If you are planning to walk for a distance, take water and a bowl with you. A Prestige ‘Cool Dog’ Cooling Dog Coat will help to keep their temperature down if you need to walk at the hotter times of the day.
The important thing to remember is not to over exercise your pets in the hot weather. Walk rather than run and even if your dog loves chasing after a ball, be aware that this will only make them hot and bothered much quicker. At home create shaded areas where dogs and cats can cool off after being out in the heat. A Rosewood Cool Down Foldable Dog Paddling Pool is perfect to leave in the garden, for cooling down after a walk, or for enjoying a refreshing dip throughout the day.
Be aware of your pet’s limits
If your pet has sensitive skin, use an animal friendly sun cream to help protect them from burning. Keeping your pet well groomed in the hotter months can be crucial in keeping them cool and comfortable. Tangled and matted hair is more likely to hold the heat, so may make your pet feel unwell.
It may seem a good idea to make your dog go into water for a swim, but be aware that not all dogs are natural swimmers. If they do not like the water, they may panic and this will cause extra problems to the overheating. Pets paws are very sensitive, so be aware that walking on a pavement during a heatwave can be painful. We wouldn’t want to put our own bare feet onto boiling hot concrete, so think about how uncomfortable it would be for dogs during the hottest part of the day.
Know the signs of heat stroke
Being able to recognise these signs is crucial, especially as pets are unable to tell you that they are feeling unwell. The faster you can take action, the more likely they will make a quick and complete recovery.
Look out for excessive panting, an increased heart rate, dry or pale gums and drooling. Your pet may appear weak and unsteady on their legs. As soon as you think your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get them out of the sun and into a cool room. Don’t dunk them in cold water as this could send them into shock. Call your vet for advice, or if you are away from home, take your pet to the nearest emergency veterinary practice.
Other ways to keep pets cool
Don’t forget about your fish! Ensure that your fish tank is not placed within direct sunlight from a window or door to stop the water from heating up. Use a mister spray to keep your indoor birds cool, they will love the feeling of cold water through their feathers!
Fruit and vegetables contain a natural supply of water. These are perfect for feeding to your pets for a little cooling relief from the heat and a great way to ensure that they are drinking enough water. A Danish Design Blue Cooling Dog Mattress is the perfect way to offer any pet a place to relax and cool down, great for using inside the house or out in the garden. It is also easy to roll up and take with you on your pet friendly holiday.
Cats in particular like to hide in sheds and summerhouses to try and keep cool during the day. Be aware of this when you close the windows and doors in the evening, as your cat could dehydrate and overheat if kept in there overnight. Overweight pets are more likely to struggle during the summer heat, so ensure that they are kept in the shade and take it easier than an active, fitter pet.
Finally, one of the worst things to do with your pet is to leave them inside a hot car on a scorching day. Even with the windows cracked open, the heat from the sun will be intensified through the glass and this has been proven to be deadly to vulnerable animals. Do not take the risk, whenever the car is not moving, take your pet with you.