When hot weather comes, your pets are vulnerable. Protect them by thinking about these 7 ways to keep your pet cool and safe in summer.
When the ground thaws and the sun peeks out from behind that perpetual winter overcast, you’re not the only one who craves time outdoors. Your furry friends want to spend more time outside, too, but how do you keep them safe from the heat?
1. Water access
Your pets not only need something to drink, but they might want to play in the water as well. Furnish them with a bowl of water, but keep it in the shade so it doesn’t get too hot. If you sense your pets want to cool down, let them splash through sprinklers or bathe in a baby pool.
2. Time limits
The digital timer in your kitchen can perform double duty between alerting you to the completion of a recipe and limiting the amount of time your pets spend outdoors. Set it for 15-20 minutes to remind you to call them back in. Watch for signs of overheating and dehydration to determine the ideal outdoor time for your individual pets.
3. Shade creation
Maybe your backyard lacks a covered porch or canopy of trees under which your pet can cool down. Create one of your own as you make your yard as pet-friendly as possible. A covered dog run, a sheltered cat condo, or other shaded space allows your pet to retreat when the sun becomes too intense.
4. Cool treats
Your pets might love chew bones and other standard treats, but frozen snacks help cool them down from the inside. After you return from a play session in the yard or a long walk in the summer, grab a cold treat for your pet and a fruit-flavored popsicle for yourself. You both earned it.
5. Breed considerations
Some breeds tolerate heat better than others. Huskies, for example, overheat easily because of their thick undercoats and preference for cold temperatures. If you own a heat-sensitive breed of animal, limit time outside even further and watch them closely for signs of heat exhaustion.
6. Abbreviated play
Your dog might want to catch the ball from the time he wakes up until he’s ready to go to bed. Such long play sessions increase the risk for overheating, however, so limit play sessions based on your pet’s needs. Use a command to signal that play time is over, such as “no more” or “enough.” Hide the toys and take your pet inside.
7. Paw Protection
Your pets’ paws can burn when exposed to extremely hot surfaces, such as a concrete patio or stretch of sand. Reach down to touch surfaces yourself. If they burn your fingers, they’ll burn paws, too. If you want to walk the beach, for example, choose an early-morning or late-night stroll. Similarly, don’t let your pet outside on a hot patio if it’s been baking in the sun.
Protector and ally to your pets
Your pets love spending time outdoors, but they don’t always know how to monitor themselves. This is where you come in, as your pet’s protector and ally. If you suspect your pet is overheated, consult a veterinarian immediately. To keep them safe, limit the time they spend outdoors and make them comfortable as soon as they step outside.