How to Keep Pets Safe During the Hot Days of Summer
It’s really hard for pets to keep cool when it’s hot. They don’t sweat like people do, so their owners need to make sure that their pets are taking the heat okay. Cats usually feel better during hot days. They actually like lying on hot windowsills. But both cats and dogs might need your help during a heatwave.
5-Minute Crafts knows how to keep your pets safe during a heatwave.
1. Keep your pet in the shade and provide enough water
Watch out for the signs of dehydration:
- dry nose or gums
- shortness of breath
- loss of appetite
Give your pet a lot of fresh clean water when it’s cold outside. Take water with you when you go out.
Make sure the pet has a place to hide from the sun. Close the curtains to reduce the heat in the house. There should be some places in your house where it’s colder, so make sure your pet has access to them. Usually, pets love cold tile.
⚠️ Remember that old, overweight, and flat-faced dogs (bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese, boxers, Shih Tzus, and French bulldogs) are less heat-tolerant. They need more care than others during heatwaves.
2. Give them ice and freeze their toys
Dogs are really grateful to get cold treats on a cold day. They can lick ice cubes or lie on a big ice cube — just wrap it with a towel to prevent the pet’s skin from direct contact.
You can also freeze toys. Or make a lollipop using ingredients that are safe for dogs, like bananas, peanut butter, or chicken broth.
3. Create a light breeze
In trying to reduce energy consumption, some pet owners turn off their fans and air conditioners when they leave home in the morning and don’t turn them back on until they get back. But while they are away, the heat outside may become extreme.
Dogs rely on their breath to cool themselves down but it might not help them when the heat is too high. This means that the pet may be locked inside with few ways to cool themselves down.
Instead of turning the air conditioner off, try leaving it at 75°F while you are away.
4. Give them a light haircut
A light summer haircut will prevent your dog from overheating.
⚠️ Never shave your pets bald. It’s important that they have protection from direct sunlight to avoid sunburns.
Also, make sure that the sunscreens you use are safe to be used on animals.
5. Avoid walking during the middle of the day
Don’t take your dog out during the hottest time of the day. Instead, wake up early in the morning to walk your dog and wait for the sun to go down in the evening and the air temperature to reduce.
Remember that the asphalt in summer is really hot. Walking on it can lead to burns on the feet of your dogs. If you touch the ground with your palm and it hurts, it means it’s too hot. Walking early in the morning and after the sun goes down will minimize your risk of burns. You can also use dog slippers to protect their paws.
6. Don’t leave your pet in the car
Most people don’t understand how hot it can be. For example, when it’s 78°F outside, the temperature inside the car can be 89°F when it’s parked in the shade and over 155°F when parked in direct sunshine.
On hot days, it’s better to keep your pet at home. If you can’t do that, make sure you always have water with you. When you leave the car, take the pet with you — never leave it alone.
7. Use wet towels
A cold wet towel is a great tool to cool your pet down. Just make sure that there’s no sudden drop in temperature.
You can also use a bag of frozen peas to cool down your dog’s head. Put it on the neck or the groin where there are big blood vessels. Wrap it with a towel before applying it to the head.
8. Bathe your pet carefully
If you are lucky enough to live next to a pool or a river, you might be tempted to jump into it together with your dog. But if your pet is feeling really hot, it might only make the situation worse.
A sudden drop in the temperature of the body’s surface will only lead to a further increase in the temperature of the internal organs. To minimize the risk, invite the dog to get into the water slowly. Let it stand in the water for a little bit. Remember, that dogs’ feet are one of the few places that sweat and cool the body down.
9. Visit the vet
When it gets really hot outside, take your cat or dog to the vet for a full check. The check should include protection against fleas and ticks. In hot weather when pets spend more time outside, it’s especially important to make sure your pet doesn’t have parasites.