New Ways to Keep Pets Cool in Summer
If you’ve followed PetsWeekly for any length of time, you already know how we dread the summer heat in the sweltering deserts of the Southwest. However, this summer, it appears the entire nation is going to experience a taste of our heat.
Those of you who are not quite accustomed to 100+ degree temps may need a quick tutorial. Here are a few of our favorite ways to protect pets from the summer heat and sweltering sun.
NOTE: When possible, we use affiliate links in our posts.
Tip 1: Products To Help Keep Pets Cool in Extreme Heat
When you’re dealing with temperatures of 110 degrees or more in the Southwest (along with it’s insane dryness), or even just 80 degrees (and their unbearable humidity) in the Northwest, you have to bring some new products into your life.
Here are few of our favorite pet products to keep pets cool in summer.
These cooling mats are ideal for pets in the home who need to cool off a bit. The pressure-activated gel cooling pad is ideal for placing in kennels or in cars. It will not overly cool your pet.
Cooling vests are designed to keep your pets slightly cooler on walks. Just wet the middle of the coat and wring out, then place on your pet. These are designed for short-term walks and hikes, not for all-day wear.
These cooling bandanas are great for helping to reduce heat stress. They also contain a build-in leash hole so your pets don’t disrupt the coolness on walks.
Some toys are just perfect for freezing – like these beef-flavored indestructible toys or a Kong toy with a favorite treat or broth frozen inside. They not only help your pet stay cool, but keeps them busy through the day. Another fun trick is to free your pet’s favorite toys inside a ring of ice and let them work at getting them free throughout the day. Perfect for dogs who love to bark!
Make your own sherbert or ice cream treats for a quick treat outside! Here are 5 refreshing treats you can make for your pets in summer
Make sure your pets have access to plenty of fresh, cool air during the day. Sometimes this means adding a spare air-conditioning unit. This is a wall-mounted unit we have used for years, and a portable air-conditioning we use in our garage for our fosters.
Tip 2: Be Aware of the Heat
There are a number of ways you can help people and pets in summer. Knowing how to perform CPR, understanding the symptoms of heatstroke, and keeping you and your pets hydrated are key.
Learn Symptoms of Heatstroke
Heatstroke can happen any time, which means you should know how to prevent heat stroke in pets.
Tip 3: Know How to Perform CPR
Heatstroke and water-related deaths are sadly commonplace in the desert. It’s important to know how to save the life of a person or animal using CPR. Sign up for a class at the community center, hire a professional CPR instructor, or visit your veterinarian to learn how to administer CPR.
Tip 4: Pool Safety – Not All Dogs Can Swim
Pools are fantastic for keeping dogs and humans cool in summer. However, bear in mind that not all dogs know how to swim (read more about Dogs that can’t Swim and Some that just aren’t very good at it).
Some dogs are simply not designed for swimming due to their barrel chests or short legs. Learn how to protect your pets when they are around water.
On that same note, not all pets know when it’s time to take a break in the shade. Make sure you keep an eye on your pets when they’re outdoors.
Tip 5: Stay Hydrated
In Arizona, you never travel anywhere without a bottle of water tucked away. We keep a couple of cases of water in our car, as well as extras in our home so our pets (or other people’s pets) are never without a cool drink.
If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Dehydration can result in a myriad of symptoms from muscle cramps to death.
Water is the only common thread uniting every single animal on this earth – drink often and do everything you can to encourage your pets to drink. Here are some tips on increasing your cat’s water intake, and some tips for making sure your dog drinks plenty of fluids.
Tip 6: Never Leave Pets In Cars!
I shouldn’t have to say it, but I will:
Never leave your pet in a hot car!
If you see someone doing this, say something (or just call the police).
In many locales, it’s become legal for people to break the windows of cars in order to liberate a dog or other pet that has been left unattended. However, this is not a “free for all” pass to walk around breaking windows.
Here is the proper process if you find an animal in a vehicle:
- Document the scene: Use your phone or a camera to document the animal, the vehicle, the license plate, the time and the owner (if possible).
- Invite additional witnesses – the more the merrier. It’s important to have witnesses in the event the owner receives a citation (and we hope they do).
- Call 911. An animal in a car is an emergency situation.
If possible, wait for the owner to show up (unless the animal is in immediate distress) or let professionals handle the problem (again – unless the animals are in immediate distress).
If the animal is in obvious and severe distress, be very cautious in how you break the window and remove the pet, but remember:
- Glass can cut you and the animal.
- You do not know how dangerous the animal in that car might be – stress will aggravate any aggression issue.
- You don’t know how the animal will respond to you coming into their space.
- You don’t know how the window will break and if it may cause more problems for the animal.
- You must have a safe way to restrain the animal and a place to move them into the shade and off of pavement or concrete.
- You don’t know how the owner will respond should they arrive back at the car.