As the temperature rises during the summer months, it’s important to remember to take extra care of our furry friends. Dogs and cats need extra attention to stay cool, comfortable, and healthy during warm months of the year.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog or cat cool in the summer:
Keep your house cool: Keep the air conditioning on in your home to help regulate your pet’s internal temperature. Don’t have AC? Use fans to help circulate cool air around your home and create a breeze that will help your pet stay comfortable. Closing the shades on the sunniest side of your house during the most intense hours helps to keep temperatures down as well.
Provide fresh water: Keep your pet’s water bowl full and fresh at all times. Consider adding some ice cubes to the bowl to keep the water cool.
Create a cool spot: Provide your pet with a cool spot in the house, such as a tiled floor, a cool bed, or cooling mat. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near a window where the sun can heat up the area.
Avoid the heat: If it is a scorcher of a day stay inside during the worst of it. Try to avoid exercising your pet during the hottest parts of the day. Early morning or late evening walks are a better option when air temperatures and sidewalks are cooler.
Provide shade: If your pet is spending time outside, make sure there is plenty of shade available to protect them from the sun.
Protect their paws: Hot pavement, sand, or concrete can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous for your pet. Protect their paws by walking them on grass, avoiding hot surfaces, and consider investing in booties and treat dry or cracked paws with Paw Balm. Not sure how hot the ground is? Take your hand and hold it to the ground for 30 seconds. If it is too hot for you, it is definitely too hot for your pet!
Provide fresh water: Always provide your pet with access to fresh, clean water while they are outside and keep water bowls in the shade.
Never leave your pet alone in a hot car or confined area. Temperatures rise quickly and can be deadly. Even with windows cracked, the temperature rises shockingly fast. Leave them home in shaded areas on warm days rather than in the car.
Cooling Treats & Fun
During the summer stock up on:
- Frozen raw bones
- Cool summer treats like Boss Dog Frozen Greek Yogurt for dogs & cats
- Bone Broth - kept chilled it is a refreshing electrolyte booster. You can also freeze it into cubes and offer it as a frozen treat. (**depending on the size of your dog you may want to freeze them in larger portions. Small cubes can be choking hazards for larger dogs if they enjoy swallowing things whole. Choose a size appropriate for your pet.)
Keep on hand:
- A good grooming brush to remove seasonal shedding. Don't shave long haired or double coated dogs (these are dogs whose fur stops growing at a certain length). These dogs have coats that work to help keep them cool and prevent sunburn when they are intact and well groomed
- A cooling pad that your pet can sit on to bring their temperature down - like the GF Pet - Ice Mat Cooling Mat or the K & H Cooling Pet Pad
- Invest in an inexpensive kiddie pool if your dog enjoys the water and keep the water at a refreshing temperature
- Turn on the Sprinkler so your pet can play and enjoy.
- A pet friendly water bottle like Lap-It-Up Water Bottle
Important Health Information:
Heatstroke is a common problem in dogs and cats during summer months, and it's essential to recognize the signs and act quickly to prevent severe health issues. Dogs and cats are more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. Heatstroke is caused by a buildup of heat in the body that can lead to symptoms such as lethargy, panting, vomiting, and collapse.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heatstroke, it’s important to seek veterinary attention immediately.
Here are some essential tips on how to assist a dog or cat that has heat stroke:
Recognize the signs: Overheating can occur when pets are confined in small spaces, left unattended in a hot car, or exercised in hot weather.
- Excessive panting
- Excessive thirst
- Glazed eyes
- Increased salivation
- Dry gums that are pale or grayish
- Bright or dark red tongue or gums
- Rapid or erratic pulse
- Weakness, staggering, confusion, inattention
- Rectal bleeding
NOTE: Breeds with flat faces like Pugs and Boxers, elderly dogs and puppies are at higher risk. Dogs with existing health conditions may also overheat faster.
If you notice any of these signs, act immediately.
Move to a cooler area: If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, immediately move them to a shady and cooler area. Bring them inside if possible or move them to an air-conditioned room. Make sure there's plenty of cool water available.
Cool your pet down: Wet your pet with cool (not cold) water from a water hose or wet towels. While waiting for veterinary help, wrap your pet in cool, wet towels - ensuring that they cover the neck, stomach, and groin areas - and keep replacing them as they warm up.
Offer water: Provide plenty of cool water to your pet that has heat stroke; you can add ice cubes or set up a kiddie pool to help them cool down. Keep the water bowl or pool in the shade.
*Seek veterinary attention: If your pet is showing signs of heat stroke, get them to a veterinarian immediately. It's essential to take preventive measures to avoid any serious health complications.
Prevent future heat stroke: Ensure your pets always have plenty of fresh water available and try to avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day. If you plan to take your pets out with you, take plenty of breaks in shady spots and keep them well-hydrated.
The key to saving a pet's life during a heat stroke is to recognize the signs early and act quickly to cool them down. Remember to seek veterinary attention if you suspect your pet has heatstroke and take preventive measures to avoid future cases of heat stroke.
Stay vigilant, stay cool, and enjoy your summer with your pets.
**The content in this blog is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Always consult your holistic veterinarian prior to using any recommended items or supplements.**