It is so important you keep your pets cool during the warmer summer months. Unlike humans, pets can’t sweat. Humans are able to sweat to keep themselves cool throughout summer, however, pets like cats and dogs are unable to do this. For them, it is like walking around with a thick winter coat on all the time. Dogs can suffer heatstroke in a matter of minutes. They rely on their panting and releasing heat through their paw pads/nose to keep themselves cool. This is why it is vital for us to help keep our pets cool throughout the summer months.
Here are a couple of ways you can help keep your pets nice and cool.
Cooling pads are a great way to keep your pets cool. They aren’t too expensive to purchase and can be used over and over again. They are mats that you can lay on the floor for your pets to lay down on them. They are filled with a gel that remains at a cold temperature, so when your pet is laying or sitting on the mat, their bodies will feel the cold temperature gel. You can even put the mat into the fridge to make it even cooler.
Cooling pads/mats can be brought at any local pet shop or online.
A cooling jacket is a thin jacket that you wet with cold water before putting it on your animal. This jacket is great for dogs when you are about to take them on a walk. The jacket stays wet and cold throughout the duration of the walk, so while outside in the sun, your dog can constantly feel the coldness of the wet jacket. This is a great way to keep them cool if you must take them outside. The jacket can also be worn indoors if your home is very warm.
Cooling jackets can be purchased at any pet shop or online.
A dog paddling pool is a perfect place for your dog to cool off in the garden. If your dog loves the water, then a paddling pool is a great way to keep them entertained while making sure they aren’t over-heating.
If your dog is a swimmer, taking them to a beach so they can swim in the sea is also a great way to get their exercise in while keeping them cool. However, watch out for when your dog is getting tired, as swimming can be draining for them.
Also, note that some algae are toxic for dogs so make sure the water is clean before allowing dogs to get into the water and keep them near shallow water to help prevent drowning.
Frozen treats and toys are a great way to keep your pets entertained as well as making sure they aren’t over-heating.
Freeze your pet's favourite treat into an ice cube, stuff a Kong toy with some peanut butter and freeze it or even make yoghurt or peanut butter frozen cubes. These are great ways to treat your pet to something they enjoy, keep them entertained and cool them down. The perfect summer treats!
They are also some toys that you fill with water and pop into the freezer. These toys are great to keep your pet busy and while the frozen water melts, it keeps your pet hydrated at the same time! These toys can be found online or at any pet shop.
The time that you walk your dog is incredibly important during the summer months. As mentioned before, heatstroke is fatal for dogs. The pavement can burn the paw pads of your pets’ paws. A good way to test if the floor is too hot for them is to hold the back of your hand on the floor for 10-15 seconds, if it feels warm or hot for your hand, it’s too warm for your pet.
The best time to walk your dog during the summer months when the sun is NOT at its peak, this is either early morning, before 11 am, or in the evening, after 6 pm. Walking them when the sun is not at its peak will drastically help minimise the chance of your dog getting heatstroke. Also, while out on the walk, try to stick to shaded areas and prevent your pet from doing a lot of vigorous exercises.
Keeping your pet cool in the summer heat is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Know your pet and how well they deal with heat. Some pets do better than others. Heatstroke is a possibility if they get too hot. Most pets do just fine in hot weather as long as they have plenty of water, shade and air movement, especially inside pets. Just remember – if you’re hot, so are your pets.
What are your ways of keeping your pet cool during the summer?