Cool Off Pets In Summer
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.
Prevent Dog Heat Stroke
Dogs wear a fur coat 24/7; and with the rising temperature, your pet may be sweating on the inside and suffering from the heat. Prevent heat stroke in dogs by doing the following:
TAMPA, Fla. - Beware the dog days of summer - literally. If you think it is too darn hot, your pooch is burning up even worse.
This is the time of year when Tampa Bay area veterinarians start seeing an increase in cases of dog heat stroke.
Not just in cars. Never leave any dog alone in a car, not even for a second. But I am talk about heat stroke suffered when they play or run outside.
A dog has fur which acts as a microwave oven. When your pet reaches a temperature of 106 degrees, they became at-risk of heat stroke.
Warning signs of dog heat stroke include bright red tongue and gums, lethargy and disorientation, vomiting and diarrhea. Heat stroke causes the cells in their bodies to break down.
To prevent dog heat stroke, especially in furnace-like Florida in the summer, try to keep vigorous walks with your pets to the morning and late evening when they would be out of the glare of the sun.
If you are going to play in the middle of the day, make sure water is plentiful for swimming and drinking. Memorial Dog Park in Davis Islands is a fantastic place for this if you can't make it to the beach.
Keep a portable fan handy. No muzzling -- wagging that tongue is the main way dogs cool down.
And this may sound like a major buzzkill, but extended jogging with your dogs in the heat of the summer is brutal on them. If you must jog, do short bursts in the morning or after the sun goes down.