7 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Cool This Summer

seven tips to keep your pets cool this summerSummer Pet Care

With summer in full swing, it’s important to keep in mind your pet’s health.

As humans, we trade our jeans in for shorts this time of year. But, our pets have to wear fur coats year-round. Therefore, we put together some tips to help our furry friends out this sweaty time of year.

Keep in mind that different pets have different needs when battling the heat, so these are just a few suggestions to consider.

7 Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer

1. Exercise your pet early in the morning or late at night

Don’t exercise your pet in the middle of the day when the heat is at its hottest. Try to aim for early mornings or later in the evening when the temperatures are cooler.

2. Keep your pet hydrated

Make sure your pets have water available to them, especially throughout the hottest parts of the day. Drop a few ice cubes into your pet’s water dish before you leave for the day.

When walking your pet, be sure to carry a bottle of water in the event dehydration kicks in. Keep in mind that overweight pets are at a higher risk for dehydration.

3. Watch out for signs of dehydration

Speaking of such, make sure you keep an eye on your animals since they do not sweat like humans. Check for sluggishness and bloodshot eyes. For dogs and cats, lift the skin above their shoulders to see how fast it falls back into place. The more dehydrated the pet is, the slower the skin will go back into place.

seven tips to keep your pets cool in the summer time

4. Give your pet a shave or a haircut

If your pet has long fur and/or a thick coat, consider taking them for a haircut or shave. If you have a dog that stays outside all the time, has a matted coat, and is likely to get wet often, a shave may help him/her battle the heat.

However, it is always best to consult with your vet first. Short-haired dogs and most cats may run the risk of sunburn if shaved, so make sure you research what’s best for your breed.

5. Reduce intake of direct heat

Keep the blinds closed in your home and try not to leave too many appliances plugged in that generate heat in the house. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats, similar to light versus dark clothing. If your pet has dark fur, you’ll want to be a bit more conscious about how much heat and direct sunlight is hitting him/her.

6. Find shade

If you are spending time with your pets outside, make sure there is shade available. Remember, your pets don’t wear shoes, so their paws can get burned, especially if walking on asphalt or sand.

During major heatwaves, it is advised to keep your pets inside as much as possible.

7. Never leave a pet in the car

A closed car in the summer can reach temperatures over 100 degrees, which can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Also, animals in parked cars may get overexcited or upset due to the commotion in the parking lot or people passing by, increasing dehydration.

seven tips to keep your pets cool this summer

BONUS TIP: Get Creative

If you have a dog that spends a lot of time outside, author and dog behaviorist, Cesar Millan suggests finding a spot in the shade and setting up a kiddie pool. He also suggests laying down a wet towel for your dog to lie on or setting up a fan in front of a pan of ice.

For more creative ways to help pets beat the heat, head to Pinterest!

dog outside panting

If your pet is having trouble breathing and appears to be losing consciousness, head to the vet or nearest emergency clinic immediately. These are symptoms of heatstroke and can lead to potentially fatal problems.

If you have further concerns regarding your pet’s health please seek a professional diagnosis.

For tips on how to keep your house or apartment home cool this summer, check out our article, “How to Keep Your Home Cool.”