The temperature keep rising, and it becomes increasingly uncomfortable outside. As humans, we have the luxury of providing ourselves with all sorts of things to stay comfortable, but our furry friends look to us to create an environment that keeps them safe and healthy.
Overheating during the summer months is a real danger for pets. Dogs and cats have higher body temperatures than we humans do, so their risk of health problems due to hot weather is higher than you might think. Plus, dogs don’t sweat (cats do, by the way, but only through their paws), which means it’s a bit harder for them to get rid of excess heat. Providing a safe place for your pets to keep cool is essential during the summer months.
Keep The Water Coming
Much like their human counterparts, hydration plays a huge role in keeping pets cool. So make sure there are plenty of full water dishes provided for your animals. This isn’t true only for cats and dogs – all animals should have access to fresh water at all times when the temperature outside is high.
Made In The Shade
Having a shaded location for your pets is also important, especially if you have outdoor-only animals. Don’t just think an enclosed space like a dog house or chicken coop, though…enclosed spaces in direct sun can get surprisingly hot if there is no ventilation. Providing shade in a well-ventilated area will help pets regulate their temperature, and prevent heat stroke.
Find A Place to Chill
There are all sorts of specialty products available to keep your pets cool, especially if you have a dog. Cooling mats are an increasingly popular solution for pet comfort. Options for cooling mats range from electric versions, water-filled versions, or just simple “mats” made from cool tile or stone (think marble or granite). The low cost version of this is to allow your pet access to a cool tile floor somewhere in your home.
Bring On The Treats
When it’s hot outside, we humans like to cool ourselves off with frozen treats. Why not do the same for your pet? Many major grocery stores now sell frozen dog treats in the ice cream aisle, or you can go the DIY route – check out our Pinterest board for recipes. Even something as simple as an ice cube will help your pet to cool down, so bring on the pet friendly frozen goodies!
Time For A Swim
While the cats may not be into this idea, many other pets would be happy for the opportunity to cool off in a shallow pool of water. A small wading pool is a great option when the weather is at its hottest.
A Trip To The Beauty Parlor
Have a longhaired pet? Then you might want to consider giving them a summer trim. Some animals have coats that are not only long, but have a think insulating layer underneath – great for cooler climates, but not fantastic for Birmingham summers. If you take your pets in for a cut, be careful of shaving off all their fur. Much like humans, pets can be susceptible to sunburns if their skin is exposed, so you want to make sure they still have some protection or that you are limiting their time in the sun to prevent burns.
Bring ‘Em Indoors
If the weather is extremely hot, you may want to consider bringing pets that are usually outdoors only inside. This is especially true when the temperatures get into the 90s and 100s…in that kind of heat, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other animals can overheat very quickly. Even if you can’t bring them in your home, a garage with a fan will be better than having them stay outside in the direct sun and heat.
And there is one more very important tip for your pets this summer: never leave them in a hot car for any length of time! A cracked window won’t cut it. It’s better to keep the pets at home, rather than run the risk of overheating in a car.