Summer Pet Care Tips: Keeping Pets Cool for the Summer
As the sun comes out this summer, we have to make sure our pets can stay cool, comfortable, and safe. In this guide we will explore some summer pet care tips, from hydration and grooming to outdoor activities that will keep your beloved pets wagging, chirping, and purring their way through the sunshine.
1. Hydration is key for your pet
The summer sun can be relentless, and just like us, our pets need to stay well hydrated to beat the heat. Ensure your pets always have access to fresh, cool water. Consider placing multiple water bowls in different areas of your home, especially if you have multiple pets or a large living space.
2. Cool retreats for your pet
Create designated cool zones within your home where your pets can retreat when the temperatures soar. Use fans, air conditioning, or even strategically placed ice packs to provide a comfortable refuge. Cats may appreciate a quiet, shaded corner, while dogs might enjoy a cozy spot with good airflow and cool tiles to lay on.
3. Grooming for comfort for pets with a lot of fur
Regular grooming is essential in the summer months, particularly for pets with thick and long fur. Brushing helps remove excess hair, reducing the risk of matting and allowing better air circulation. However, remember not to shave double coated breeds, as their fur provides insulation against both heat and cold.
4. Limit outdoor activities during peak heat
The scorching sun is at its peak during the middle of the day. Plan outdoor activities, walks, or playtime either in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are milder. Avoid hot asphalt, as it can burn your pet's sensitive paw pads and aim for grassy areas or invest in paw protectors for added safety.
5. Water play for your dog
If your dog loves the water, you could set up a kiddie pool in your backyard for your dogs to cool off in. Some cats may even enjoy dipping their paws in a shallow container of water. Remember to supervise water play and ensure your pets feel comfortable with the idea.
6. Pet friendly frozen treats
Treat your pets to cool, refreshing snacks. Freeze pet-friendly treats or make DIY frozen treats by blending fruits like watermelon or berries with water and freezing the mixture in ice cube trays. Dogs may enjoy the occasional ice cube to crunch on.
7. Provide shade
If your pets spend time outdoors, ensure there's enough shade available for them to relax in. Set up umbrellas, outdoor pet beds, or even a makeshift canopy to shield them from direct sunlight. Cats love lounging in the shade, so consider creating a cozy outdoor retreat with a shaded cat tree or a covered perch for them to relax under.
8. Be mindful of hot surfaces
Hot surfaces like sidewalks, pavement, or even sand can quickly become scorching under the summer sun. Before heading out for a walk, check the temperature of these surfaces with the back of your hand. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for your pet.
9. Never leave pets in cars
Never, ever leave your pets in a parked car, even for a short period. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke and potentially fatal consequences. If you're running errands, leave your pets at home where they can stay cool and comfortable.
10. Keep an eye on parasites and bugs
Summer brings out not only the sunshine but also pesky insects and parasites. Make sure your pets are protected from fleas, ticks, and worms. Use preventive treatments that work for your pet and your individual lifestyle, and if you're spending time in areas with high mosquito activity, consider additional measures like pet safe repellents to keep them away.
How to prevent heartworms in your pet
Heartworms pose a serious threat to the wellbeing of our pets, particularly dogs and cats. These worms are transmitted through mosquito bites, can infest the heart, lungs, and blood vessels which leads to severe health complications if left untreated. The symptoms of heartworm disease include coughing, lethargy, weight loss, and difficulty breathing.
Prevention is crucial for making sure your pets are safe from this potentially fatal condition. Veterinarians recommend regular administration of heartworm preventatives, such as a monthly chewable tablet or topical treatment, which effectively disrupt the life cycle of parasites and prevents them from their development into adult worms.
It’s also important for you to minimise your pet's exposure to mosquitos by using insect repellents, keeping them indoors during peak mosquito activity, and eliminating any standing water around the home where mosquitoes breed.
Proactive measures in the form of preventive medications and mosquito control significantly reduce the risk of heartworm infestations, ensuring the health and longevity of beloved animal companions.
11. Monitor signs of overheating
Make sure you watch for signs of overheating in your pets, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, or vomiting. If you suspect your pet is overheating, move them to a cool area, offer water, and contact your veterinarian if your pet becomes worse. Heatstroke can be a life-threatening emergency.
12. Schedule a summer checkup
Before the summer heat sets in, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations and to discuss preventive care measures for the summer months. It’s also an opportunity to check their overall health and address any concerns you may have about their wellbeing in warmer weather.
Summer is a time for making memories with our pets, filled with outdoor adventures and playful moments. By incorporating these summer pet care tips into your routine, you'll ensure your pets stay cool and comfortable.