As temperatures soar, it’s important to know how to keep your pets cool in the summer. While cats might be better adapted to hot temperatures than dogs, even the healthiest can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn.
Here are 5 tips to help you keep your furry troops cool in the heat:
Offer shade and water
Both, shade and water are essential when the mercury rises. Never ever leave your pet in a car. Not even when the windows are open. Also, always ensure that the surfaces they walk on aren’t too hot as dark pavements can easily burn your dogs paws. You can check them with the back of your hand first – if it hurts you, it’s certainly too hot for your friend’s paws too.
Walk your dogs during the cooler hours and don’t encourage too much play when outdoors. During the day, leave some ice cubes in your cats and dogs bowls as well to keep the water fresh. Freeze some treats to make your pooch feel extra cool.
Make cool spaces
Make sure their beds are placed in a well-ventilated area or invest in open structure pet beds that allow the air to freely circulate. Add some outdoor shade with a sail that’s high in UV protection and large enough to give you sufficient shade on your patio or deck.
Dogs will enjoy a small paddling pool to splash about in or a damp towel to lie on. And even cats love being rubbed down in wet towels as their damp coats will have a fabulous cooling effect, similar to when humans sweat. To go the extra mile, consider investing in a cooling vest.
Groom your furry beasts
Keep their coats clean and untangled with regular grooming. Removing lose hair is key, as it can easily trap the heat. Consider trimming very long or dense coats with the help of a professional pet groomer.
This might sound a bit odd, but cats and dogs with lighter coloured fur are at risk of getting sunburnt. While your pet’s fur usually provides enough protection, apply small amounts of animal friendly sunscreen onto areas that are more exposed such as the nose and the tips of the ears. Use Titanium Dioxide-based products and avoid products that contain Zinc Oxide. Speak to your vet first if you are unsure which sunscreen to use.
If you suspect heat stroke – act immediately
Heat strokes happen when your pets cannot reduce their body temperature on their own. This can be fatal, so please look out for these signs to make sure they’re alright:
- Heavy panting and difficulty breathing
- Increased heart rate and body temperature
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive salivation and lack of coordination
- Diarrhoea or loss of consciousness
Pets with flat faces, like French Bulldogs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke as they can’t pant as effectively. Older and overweight pets as well as those with heart or lung diseases should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
If your pet has developed any of the above signs, gently cool them down by moving them into a cool area, rubbing down their head, neck and chest with damp towels and offer small amounts of water to drink or ice to lick. Contact your vet for advice immediately.
Have a splendid summer and keep your pets cool