If you think you're hot in the summertime, imagine what it must feel like for your pets. We often forget that our dogs and cats are wearing fur coats 24/7 - which serves them well in the winter; but no so much this season. While we can easily dress down, our pet cannot. Here are some things you can do to help your pet cool off this summer.
1) Give pets ice cubes
My dog loves playing 'hockey' with ice cubes (unfortunately, she usually plays on the slippery tile floor). This simple idea can help them stay hydrated.
2) Give them plenty of fresh water
Keep checking their water dish. If it's low, re-fill it. You may consider buying a small dog food dish for when you go out to the dog park, as well. Dogs are prone to heat stroke just as much as humans in the summer. If your dogs is experiencing any of the following, they may be suffering from heat stroke:
- Dry gums;
- Loss of appetite;
- Drooping eyes.
Although panting helps dogs cool down, it could be a sign of heat exhaustion. Be on the look out.
3) Purchase a Kiddie Pool
Your dog will appreciate splashing around in the water. If you don't have the room for a kiddie pool in the backyard, then consider spraying them down with a water hose [and let them drink from the water].
4) Be mindful of your breed
Pets are prone to different animal illnesses. Do research on your domestic breed and consult a veterinarian for advice about pet safety tips.
5) Brush Fur - But don't shave your pet
Grooming pets regularly not only keeps fur from tangling, but it helps pets from overheating. Pet owners often think shaving a pet is the best way to keep cool; but the truth is that pet fur acts to block heat and sun burn. There are dog sunscreens on the market that can pet owners should consider, if your animal will be outside for extended periods of time. In short, trim hair, but don't shave it completely.
6) Seek Shade
Allow dogs and cats the opportunity to explore the outside world; but find shade for them. Even if they are predominately an outside animal, allow the chance in the summer time to come inside for air conditioning and shelter.