How Can I Keep My Pets Cool In Hot Weather?
Summer is a wonderful time of year for us humans. Long, lazy days spent relaxing outdoors and topping up our tans are what many of us look forward to throughout the cold winter months. However, the high temperatures can make life very uncomfortable for our pets. With the mercury topping 40°C in the UK this summer, it’s vital to help dogs, cats and other animals stay cool. If you’re wondering “How can I keep my pets cool in hot weather?” then this is the perfect article to read.
Tips for keeping pets cool in the summer
Pets can easily become overheated during the summer months, especially with temperatures climbing year on year. If you don’t take steps to cool them down, they can potentially become very poorly. Heatstroke, which can be life-threatening in some cases, is a real risk. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your furry friends comfortable and safe when temperatures are at their highest. Keep reading to find out the answer to “How can I keep my pets cool in hot weather?”
Make water readily available
Offering plenty of water to your pets is essential in summer. Whilst this might seem obvious, it’s surprising how many people don’t keep their pet’s water bowl topped up. Your pet needs a constant supply of water to remain cool at this time of the year. Water can help to regulate their body temperature, helping them stay comfortable and healthy. If your dog or cat doesn’t drink enough of it, they will become dehydrated, which could lead to loss of consciousness, kidney failure, and even death. Pouring cool water over your dog’s head, ears and feet can be a good idea. However, you shouldn’t use ice or very cold water since this can cause shock.
Since some cats will refuse to drink water out of a bowl, it might be worth purchasing a water fountain. With a cat water fountain, the water is filtered through a number of tubes, making the cat feel like they’re drinking running water. Flavouring water with chicken broth or apple juice can also encourage some pets to drink it.
Avoid walks and playtime during peak hours
Walking and playing with your pet when temperatures are highest should be avoided. The hottest hours of the day tend to be from around midday to 3 pm. Not only can it make your pet uncomfortable but it can also cause damage to your pet’s paw pads if they’re made to walk on asphalt, which can become incredibly hot. Instead of walking and playing with them during peak hours, it’s best to do so in the morning or later on in the evening. This is a lot safer for your pet.
Cats, as well as dogs, should be kept indoors during the hottest times of the day. Whilst many cats love nothing more than to laze around in the sunshine, they can really benefit from being brought inside when the heat is at its strongest. Caged animals like rabbits and guinea pigs should be moved inside too if possible, preferably giving them access to shady, tiled areas to help them keep cool.
Cool down your home
Maintaining a cool temperature in your home will help both your family and your pets stay comfortable. One easy way to do this is to pull down the blinds and close the curtains during the day. This helps to keep sunlight out, helping the space to stay cool. You should also open the windows in the early morning and at night to let in cooler air. Investing in a decent electric fan or portable air conditioner to use on the hottest days of summer can be advisable too.
Buy cooling mats
Cooling mats can be a very effective way of keeping pets cool in summer. Dogs and cats enjoy sitting on them as they help to cool them off when indoors. These pressure-activated mats work by dispersing the heat from their bodies, helping to reduce their core body temperature and stopping them from overheating. Try to encourage your pet to use their cooling mat after they’ve been outside or after they’ve enjoyed a play session. Cooling mats can be particularly useful for pets with thick fur since they are more at risk of overheating than short-haired pets.
Don’t leave pets in the car
Never leave your pet in a parked vehicle, even if the air conditioning is on. In the summer, temperatures inside a car can climb rapidly, reaching up to 78 degrees Celsius. This can be very dangerous indeed. Pets can quickly fall ill, potentially becoming dehydrated, suffering from heatstroke or even dying in the worst cases. Fatal heat stroke can occur in just 15 minutes. If you need to run an errand whilst out in your car, it’s best to leave your pet at home rather than leaving them to contend with dangerously high in-car temperatures.
Choose reputable dog kennels
If you’ll be jetting away on holiday this summer, you may need to put your dog in kennels whilst you’re away. However, it’s important to take care when selecting boarding facilities. You need to feel confident that your pet will be kept cool and comfortable during their stay. What precautions are in place to keep temperatures at a reasonable level? Are the staff experienced in caring for dogs during a heatwave? Don’t be afraid to ask questions when looking around dog kennels in your area. It’s important that you feel comfortable leaving your dog in the care whilst you’re on holiday.