Ways to Protect Your Pets from Summer Heat
Summer is here and it is going to get hot. As humans, we have a multitude of ways to stay cool in the summer heat, but our pets are a little less fortunate. Protecting your pets from the summer heat is not only an issue of comfort, but of safety. Overheating can be very dangerous for pets and can even result in death. Don’t take this issue lightly, your pets depend on you to protect them. It is up to pet owners to keep their pets nice and cool this summer.
Pets need to drink water to replenish the water they lose through panting and breathing. This is especially important during the summer as they will be panting more than usual. Make sure your pet’s water bowls stays nice and full during the summer. Additionally, a kiddie pool for your pets to cool off in can be set up; this will help keep their body temperature low during the heat.
Comfort is more than just a nice bed for your pet, it includes the house temperature as well. If you are seeing damp paw prints through the house constantly grooming in the corner, consider lowering the temperature of the house. Furthermore, you can use fans or air conditioning as a good way to lower the temperature for your pets. There are also cooling beds or mats that can be purchased to keep your pet cool.
As for outdoors, once the temperature reaches or surpasses 90 degrees, it is best for your pet to avoid direct sunlight. Pets with darker colored fur will overheat faster than light colored coats. Try to encourage your pets to lie down in the shade of a tree or umbrella so they can cool off.
Pets love treats; who doesn’t love a treat. However, treats can be practical for cooling off as well. There are wonderful treats you can buy or make that help keep your pets cool. Frozen dairy free yogurt is a good snack for dogs. You can even put some basic store bought treats in the fridge to make them a little colder.
However, a good alternative to store bought treats is to make your own frozen treats. Here is a simple recipe for cantaloupe ice cream that is good for dogs and humans. You can even add colors to the treats to make them more enticing for your dog. Just be sure to use FDA safe colors when making the treat, so your pet won’t be in any danger.
Cantaloupe Ice Cream
- 2 cups (300g) frozen ripe cantaloupe
- 2 tbsp unsweetened yogurt
- Scrub the outside of the cantaloupe thoroughly.
- Slice the melon in half and remove seeds.
- Slice each half into quarters and remove skin, then dice into bite-sized chunks.
- Place cut melon in the freezer.
- When completely frozen (2-4 hours or overnight), place 2 cups of melon pieces into the food processor.
- Add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened yogurt.
- Blend until combined, adding a little cool water if needed to blend to your preferred consistency.
Some breeds, like Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos and Poodles, can benefit from a summer clip. However, not all dogs and cats benefit from a summer haircut. In some cases a summer clip can permanently alter a dogs coat. Or in the case of cats, they need their long coats to stay cool. A summer trim isn’t a bad idea, but be sure to talk to your groomer before moving forward.
Never ever leave your pet in a hot car. It is beyond dangerous for the pet and can easily lead to death. The interior of a car can rise 20 degrees in a few minutes when it is warm out. Cracking the windows won’t help either. On a sunny day there is no acceptable way to leave your pet in a hot car. If you take your pet with you on a drive, do not leave them in the car.
There are plenty of ways to protect your pets from summer heat. Give yours pets plenty of water and cold treats to keep their body temperature low during the summer heat. Additionally, consider asking your groomer if your pet could benefit from a summer cut.