As the temperature rises, we humans can opt for shorts, air conditioning, and a cold drink to stay cool. But what about our furry, feathered, or scaly friends? Their cooling options are often limited, which can make the summer months uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep your pet cool and safe in the summer. Here are our top tips.
Hydration is key
Just like humans, pets need to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather. A dehydrated pet can quickly become a sick one. Be sure to always provide fresh, cool water for your pet. If you're going out, consider getting a pet water bottle or portable bowl. For those with a yard, a pet drinking fountain can encourage hydration.
Tip: Add a few ice cubes to your pet's water bowl on hot days.
Keep them groomed, but not too much!
While it may be tempting to shave your pet's fur in the summer, don't reach for the clippers too quickly. Pets' coats are designed to protect them from the elements, including the sun. A few extra brushes a week can help remove excess fur and keep your pet cooler.
Note: Never shave a pet without consulting a vet first.
Provide shade and cool resting places
If your pet spends time outdoors, ensure there's plenty of shade. Indoors, ceramic tiles or cooling mats can provide a cool spot to lie down. For smaller pets like rabbits and guinea pigs, a ceramic tile or terracotta pot can provide much-needed relief.
Be mindful of the time of day
Avoid taking your pet out during the hottest part of the day, which is usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, aim for early morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler.
Invest in cooling products
There are many cooling products available for pets, from cooling mats to pet-safe sunscreen. A cooling mat or vest can be especially helpful for brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs that can struggle in the heat.
Offer cool treats
Pets love treats, and luckily, there are plenty of pet-safe options that can help them cool down. Try making your own frozen pet treats using pet-friendly ingredients.
Watch for signs of heatstroke
Pets can't tell us when they're too hot, so it's important to know the signs of heatstroke: excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, fever, vomiting. If you notice any of these signs, contact a vet immediately.
By following these tips, you can ensure your pet stays cool, comfortable, and safe during the hot summer months. Remember, if it's too hot for you, it's likely too hot for your pet, so be mindful of the conditions and adjust accordingly.