Our summers seem to be getting warmer and warmer each year. While we all still love to get out in the sunshine, and even the heat, it does mean that we have to pay extra attention to our furry friends when we venture out. While we can wear shorts and a t-shirt or a breezy-cool sundress, our pets wear their fur coats year-round.
Here are some tips to help keep your pet cool as a cucumber this summer:
Provide lots of water. Keeping your pet hydrated is number one on the list to keep them cool and safe. Be sure they always have access to cool water and consider taking a portable dog dish or pet water bottle when you venture out. Toss in a few ice cubes to help keep it cool longer.
Make a frozen treat. A frozen treat bowl is a cool way to keep your pets both entertained and refreshed. Freeze kibble or their favourite treats in a bowl of frozen water, and your pets won’t be able to control their tongues. For added flavour, combine water with chicken or beef stock and they’ll really be excited about this tasty treat. Our Shelter pets LOVE these in the summer and they are easy to make.
Give them a cool place to sleep. Before leaving the house, ensure your pet has a cool place to sleep and relax. This might mean ensuring they remain on the lower level of the home where it’s cooler and providing a cozy area that’s out of direct sunlight. You might also want to close blinds and curtains to keep your space as cool as possible.
Depending on your dog’s personality, you might also want to consider purchasing a doggie cooling mat that will help prevent them from becoming overheated if they like to stretch out in the warm sun (cats can use them, too!).
Keep a fan going. If you don’t have AC, consider keeping a fan going while you’re away from the house to keep fresh air circulating inside for your pet. They’re a great way for your pet to keep cool and you might even consider attaching a pet-friendly misting system to provide even more relief.
Treat them with a frozen Kong. Your dog loves their Kong, especially if it’s filled with their favourite goodies. Try lining the Kong with some peanut butter or their preferred treat, and freezing the Kong, for a refreshing cooling twist on the treat.
Keep your dog at a healthy weight
Overweight dogs have a harder time keeping cool in warm weather and are at greater risk of overheating. Consult with your veterinarian to help maintain their ideal body condition, which varies depending on your dog’s breed.
Take care of your dog’s coat. Ensuring your dog is regularly groomed in the summer is important to keep them cool. Your dog’s coat doesn’t just keep them warm in the winter but can also keep them cooler in the summer. It can also protect their skin from sunburn. Regular and thorough brushing helps allow proper airflow for their skin and prevents mats, which are painful but also trap heat and moisture and can result in skin infections.
However, resist the urge to shave down your dog as not every dog requires this, particularly those breeds with double coats. While some dogs will benefit from shaving, it’s not always necessary. If you have questions regarding your dog’s grooming, consult with your veterinarian first.
Now you’re ready to enjoy a fun-filled and cool summer!