Sweltering Summer days are on the horizon, so before you head to the pool to cool down, read our tips on how to keep your furry buddies from overheating, too.
- Make sure your dog or cat is well-hydrated. Soaring temperatures and being in the sun will dehydrate your pet fast, so make sure their water bowls are full, and if they spend a lot of time outdoors, keep a water bowl outside as well.
- Try to walk your dog early in the morning or at night, when the sun isn't blazing. If you have to walk him during the day, protect his paws from hot asphalt with dog booties. While exercise is always important for your dog, you can ease up on the intensity during the hot Summer months.
- Speaking of exercise, take advantage of lakes and beaches, or even doggie pools, in the Summer and kill two birds with one stone. Not only will your dog be getting plenty of exercise, he'll also keep cool while splashing in the water. Oh, and it's also a great way to have fun and bond, so make that three birds with one stone.
- Since your cat would probably rather sweat it out than jump into a body of water, look to other ways of cooling her down. A simple technique is to dampen a towel with cold water and gently pet your cat with it from the top of her head to her tail. You can also place the dampened towel in a cool spot in your house for her to lie on. For extra comfort, you can create a cool retreat out of a cardboard box (let's be honest, all cats love boxes). Line the box with a light fabric and place it in a cool corner of the house. You can spruce it up even more by tossing in some of her favorite toys or an ice pack stuffed inside a sock for extra chill.
- If your dog or cat spends plenty of time in your backyard, make sure there are enough shaded areas for them to seek relief from the sun. You can even fill up a kiddie pool as an extra treat for your pooch.
- If your pets stay inside most of the time, there are countless ways to help them stay cool. For dogs, gently spraying them with a cool mist of water will be very welcome on boiling days. For both cats and dogs, placing a tray of ice in front of a fan will mimic the cooling effect of an air conditioner if you don't have one. And you can reward your dog's good behavior with this simple and delicious frozen treat!
- Watch out for signs of heatstroke. Some symptoms in dogs include excessive panting, listlessness, staggered gait, rapid heart rate, dark red or purple gums, and vomiting. Symptoms in cats include heavy panting, agitation, listlessness, staggering, glazed eyes, and skin that's hot to the touch. If you witness any of these symptoms in your pet, contact your vet immediately.
- And last but certainly not least, never, ever leave your pet in a parked car.