As the temperatures rise in the last half of summer, it’s time for us to consider the comfort and safety of our precious furry companions. While we may enjoy the warmth of the sun, it can be a tricky season for our four-legged pals. It's our job as pet parents to ensure they stay cool, comfortable, and most importantly, safe during these hot months.
First things first, never underestimate the power of hydration. On scorching summer days, your pet can become dehydrated much faster than you might think. And here's the kicker - pets can’t tell us when they're thirsty! So, it's up to us to provide a constant source of fresh, clean water for our pets. Whether you're out for a walk, playing in the yard, or even hanging out indoors, ensure they have access to plenty of water. Ice cubes can be a fun treat too, not only do they help keep your pet hydrated, but they also provide a cooling effect.
Next on our list: shade and shelter. Yes, we know, some of our furry friends love basking in the sunshine! But, too much direct sun exposure can lead to overheating, which is seriously dangerous for our pets. When they're outside, make sure there are shaded areas where they can retreat from the sun.
Investing in a cool place for your pet to rest can help too. Lesure's Elevated Bed is specifically designed to keep air circulating while your pet relaxes, helping to lower their body temp and maintain their overall comfort. And remember, the inside of your home is generally much cooler than the outside, so encourage your pet to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.
Now, let’s chat about exercise. It's no secret that our pets love their playtime, and regular exercise is essential for their overall health. But when summer comes knocking, we need to adjust their routine. Avoid the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for any vigorous activities. Early morning or late evening walks when temperatures are cooler are a better choice. And always keep an eye out for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, drooling, or difficulty breathing.
As we discuss keeping cool, let’s not forget about those paws! Imagine walking barefoot on hot asphalt or sand - ouch, right? Well, that’s exactly how your pet feels too. So, always check the pavement with the back of your hand before heading out for a walk. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for their paws. If necessary, consider investing in some pet-friendly footwear.
Pet Specific Care
Speaking of which, it's essential to note that some pets are more vulnerable to heat than others. Pets with short noses (like Pugs and Bulldogs), those with thick or dark coats, senior pets, or those with medical conditions are at a higher risk. If your pet falls into one of these categories, you might need to take additional precautions to keep them cool and safe.
Let's get into grooming. You might be tempted to give your fluffy dog a close shave to help them beat the heat, but hold those clippers! Your pet's coat isn't just there for looks. It actually provides a natural form of insulation to protect them from the elements - both hot and cold. Instead of a full shave, consider a light trim. And regardless of your pet's coat length, regular brushing is essential to get rid of all that excess fur and keep their coat healthy and efficient. Of course, always consult with a professional groomer or your vet before making any major changes.
How to Stay Safe
Now, onto a super important topic: never, ever leave your pet in a parked car on a warm day. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a vehicle can skyrocket in mere minutes. This can lead to fatal heatstroke for your pet. If you need to run errands and can't bring your pet inside the stores with you, it's best to leave them at home.
Another fun summer activity we enjoy is a good old BBQ. However, remember that a lot of foods we love are actually toxic to our pets. So, while it might be hard to resist those puppy dog eyes begging for a treat, stick to pet-safe treats instead. Also, be cautious of other potential hazards like skewers, aluminum foil, and certain plants that might be harmful if ingested.
Similarly, if you're enjoying a day by the pool, lake, or beach, remember that not all pets are natural swimmers. Always keep a close eye on your pet around water, and consider a pet life jacket for added safety. Also, don't let your pet drink pool water as it contains chlorine and other chemicals that could make them sick.
Closing Thoughts: Have Fun and Listen to Your Pet
At the end of the day, it's all about knowing your pet and watching for signs of distress. Every pet reacts differently to heat, and knowing the signs of overheating can save your pet's life. Be on the lookout for symptoms like heavy panting, loss of energy, weakness, drooling, and in severe cases, vomiting and diarrhea. If you notice any of these signs, try to cool your pet down by offering water and applying cool (not cold) water to their body, especially around the head and neck. Then get them to a vet immediately.
Summer is a great time for making memories with our pets. With a bit of knowledge and precaution, we can ensure those memories are happy ones. Protecting your pet from the summer heat can seem daunting, but with a little forethought and a few easy adjustments, it's entirely manageable. Summer should be a time of fun and relaxation for everyone in the family, including our pets.
Remember, we, as humans, can control our environment to keep ourselves cool, but our pets rely on us for their comfort and safety. So, let's do our part in making this summer safe and enjoyable for our adorable companions.
We hope these tips help you and your pet have a fun-filled, safe, and cool summer. Enjoy those warm days, those cool nights, and everything in between, all while keeping your pet’s comfort and safety in mind. After all, there's nothing like enjoying a beautiful summer day with our happy, healthy furry friends by our side. Happy summer, pet parents!