Summertime is marked by warmer weather, longer days, and the hot sun drawing people out of the house and into the great outdoors. Lounging by the pool, beach vacations, hiking, and bike riding are just some of the exciting activities people can appreciate during the warmer months. And often, pet owners especially enjoy bringing their canine companions along for the adventure.
While enjoying the sun with your family pet is excellent, it is vital to keep in mind that an animal’s body temperature can quickly rise, causing them to overheat. It is up to the owners to provide the necessary resources to help cool off their hot pet.
Whether you’re spending the day outdoors or live in a home without proper air conditioning, here are several tips to keep your pet comfortable during the summer months.
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The most critical element of keeping a pet cool is hydration. Always have a source of clean and fresh water handy for your pet.
When out of the house, bring along an extra water bottle and a collapsible bowl and give your canine frequent water breaks. At home, remember to keep their water bowl filled, adding in ice cubes for an extra cooling experience. Freeze your dog’s favorite snack for a special treat!
Carrying around a heavy coat can be taxing on any furry friend. While fur is important for warmth, many dogs’ undercoats need brushing out to prevent overheating in the year’s hotter months.
Add in a regular grooming session to your schedule. Not only will this help to keep your pet cool, but they’ll also enjoy the massage of the brush rubbing against their body.
If you’re not a fan of hair all over your house, take your pet to a shady spot outdoors for their brush down.
#3 A Cool Surface/Shade
Just as humans change their sheet material to adjust to the seasonal temperature shifts, animals also need an appropriate place to rest.
While investing in a self-cooling pet pad can do the trick, hardwood, vinyl, or even cement floors in a shaded part of the house is a great way to keep pets cool. For a softer surface, a leather couch or chair is a comfortable place for your dog to lay its head.
If an elderly dog or a pet with limited mobility is having trouble getting up on the couch, a dog ramp like Chasing Tails’ is a handy tool to have on hand.
When outdoors, take frequent breaks in the shade to help your dog cool down and bring down his body temperature.
#4 Natural Home-Cooling
There are a couple of simple steps to naturally cool off your home even without the help of air conditioning.
- When not in use, turn off lights and try to use your heat-generating appliances (such as the washer/dryer and oven) during the cooler parts of the day.
- Applying darkening window treatments such as blackout curtains can prevent the sun from heating the interior of your home.
A good source of moving air is also essential.
When outdoors, the natural wind takes care of this. When indoors, while an air-conditioner is ideal, if none is available, a ceiling fan on high, a standing fan plugged in, or even an open window is incredibly helpful in creating airflow.
The rushing wind blowing through your pet’s fur will help to cool down their body.
#6 Mid-Day Heat
While a daily walk is necessary for your canine’s health and wellbeing, it is essential to remember that the sun is strongest between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm.
When possible, avoid taking your dog out on a walk during the hottest hours of the day. Early mornings or evenings are the ideal time to take your pet out. Hot pavement can burn the pads of your dog’s feet, so make sure you inspect the ground beforehand to ensure it isn’t hazardous.
#7 Kiddie Pool
If you have a yard or green space, a kiddie pool can be a fun way to help your dog cool down in the heat. Set up a small plastic pool and fill it with cold water for your dog to enjoy splashing around. Add in some water-safe dogs toys for extra enjoyment.
Be careful with inflatable pools as your dog may pop the plastic with their nails if the plastic isn’t strong enough.
Final thoughts on staying cool
Being an animal owner is a big responsibility. It is crucial to keep in mind your family pet’s wellbeing as temperatures rise, and they rely on you to provide them with ways to keep cool. Whether your pet is tagging along on your outings or you have a home-bound pet, there are many simple ways to keep your dog comfortable and agreeable in the Summer heat.
A few thoughtful steps and your pup will enjoy the sunny seasons just as much as you!