How to Keep your Pets Cool this Summer ￼
A day out in the sun can be a real treat for us, but it’s not always comfortable for our four-legged friends. If hot weather is in your forecast or you’re taking your dog on holiday somewhere warm, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure they don’t get affected by the heat.
Save your outdoor time with your pet for early in the morning or in the evening once the sun has set. If you do find yourself out at midday with your pet, make sure you keep them out of direct sunlight or give them a shady place to get out of the sun. If it’s extremely warm, keep them indoors as much as possible. It’s a great idea to take your dog out on daily walks, but be mindful of when and where you walk.
Paw wax can easily be smeared onto your dog’s paw pads to protect them from harmful surfaces. Paw wax is designed to protect your dog’s feet from hot surfaces and potentially harmful chemicals like road salts.
Dog shoes are one of the best ways to protect your dog’s paws from heat and potential injuries if your dog will wear them. If this seems like the right solution for your dog, be sure to buy shoes that have rubber soles to offer the best protection. Be aware that not all dogs can get used to dog shoes, and some might have a hard time walking in them. There will definitely be an adjustment period for your dog with dog shoes.
FRESH WATER AND SHADE
Don’t leave your pet outside alone during the summer for too long. If your pet is going to spend time outside, make sure he has shade and lots of fresh, cool water. In days of extreme heat and humidity, add ice cubes to the water.
Trees and open structures like tarps provide better protection from the sun than doghouses as they allow air to flow through, whereas closed structures such as a doghouse can trap heat inside making it worse for your pet.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked. Cars parked in direct sunlight can reach temperatures up to 175°F internally when it is above 80°F outside. Even if it seems mild outside, a car can quickly rise in temperature making it unbearable for your pet. Never leave your pet alone, as “not long” is too long. Leave your pet at home or go places where he can come with you.
Many pet owners, especially cat parents, incorrectly think that shaving their animals in the heat will help cool them down. The layers of your dog’s coat, even if a dark-colored coat, help to prevent overheating and sunburn. Keep your pet cool with regular grooming sessions that keep your pet’s coat clean and free of knots and matting as these can trap heat.
INSIDE THE HOUSE
If you leave your pet at home alone, be sure he will be comfortable and cool. Leave the air conditioner on for him and close the drapes. If you don’t have air conditioning, open the windows, and turn on a fan. Cooling mats or cooling fabric pet attire can help your pet stay cool while you are away.
Check with your local beaches before you pack up the dog, since not all beaches allow them. It’s also important to find out whether or not they need to be on a leash or if they can roam free. Bring a long leash no matter what, but know ahead of time if there will be an area where a leash isn’t necessary. If they can be off-leash, be sure your dog is under your voice control. Never leave your dog unattended. Even the most well-trained dog can get distracted. Pay extra special attention to your surroundings and any potential situations that may cause your dog to wander or run off.
Saltwater can also cause toxicity if swallowed, or eyes and sensitive membranes can be irritated if pets are immersed or splashed. Ingesting a small amount of sea water won’t do any harm as long as dogs have access to fresh water, but if they swallow enough seawater, they can become seriously dehydrated.
If your pet will be in the water, equip the animal with a life vest suitable for its breed, size, and weight. Even if you intend to stay close to shore, a pet playing in the surf or at the edge of a river might fall in and get caught in a dangerous riptide or swift current. If your pet likes to play fetch in the water, be alert to any floating debris that may excite them and lead to unexpected diving into what could be dangerous waters.
Some signs of heat stroke in a dog include:
- Rapid panting
- Bright red tongue
- Thick, sticky saliva
If you think that your dog has heat stroke, take the following actions immediately:
- Move the pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over their body to gradually lower their temperature.
- Apply ice packs or cool towels to the pet’s head, neck and chest only.
- Allow the pet to drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
- Then take your pet to the nearest vet.
These tips will help your pets stay safe and cool this summer!
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About Shallowford Animal Hospital
Shallowford Animal Hospital and The Pet Spa at Shallowford are dedicated to the exceptional, compassionate care your pet deserves. Pets hold a very special place in our families, and we treat yours like our own.