Keeping your pets cool in the summer can be challenging. Unlike humans, who have access to air conditioning, swimming pools, and other ways of keeping cool during hot weather, our pets don’t always have that option.

The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to help keep your furry friends comfortable this summer. Keeping them hydrated, providing adequate shade, and even applying cool towels to their body are just a few solutions that we’ll discuss.

Helping your dogs and cats stay cool in the summer is important for their health and happiness. Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke and dehydration which can lead to dangerous consequences for both indoor and outdoor pets. Luckily, with the following advice, you will be able to keep them happy and healthy all year round!

Make Sure Your Pet Stays Hydrated

The most important thing to do to keep your pet cool this summer is to make sure they have enough water to stay hydrated. Pets can get dehydrated just as quickly as humans, and even quicker if they are spending time in the sun or exercising.

To make sure your pet is staying hydrated throughout the summer, you should be providing them with plenty of water, either in the form of water bowls or water fountains that they can easily access. You should be replacing the water often to make sure it stays clean and fresh. Adding ice cubes to your pet’s water is a great way to help them stay cool and most will consider it a fun treat.

Be sure to increase your pet’s water intake during the hot months because they tend to drink more water during the summer to cool themselves down. Make sure to check in on your pet during extreme weather as well. If you see that they are very thirsty, or if their water bowl is less than half full, you may want to increase the amount of water you give them. This will help keep them hydrated and cool during the summer.

Is Your Pet Dehydrated? Signs to Look For

If your pet is dehydrated, you might notice the following symptoms:

  • Thirst
  • Reduced urination
  • Dry or sticky nose
  • Drooling
  • Lack of coordination
  • No desire to play or exercise
  • Dark or sunken eyes
  • Lack of energy

Keeping Your Pets Cool: What to do if Your Pet is Dehydrated

Dehydration in pets can be very serious, so it’s important to take action as soon as you notice symptoms. If your pet is showing any of these signs, contact your vet right away.

At home, you can help your pet rehydrate by offering them water. If the pet won’t drink, you might have to rehydrate them with a saline solution. If your pet is very sick, they might need to be given fluids through an IV to get enough fluids back into their system. Please contact us at Animal Care Center if you believe that your pet is dehydrated.

Limit Exercise in Intense Heat

Another important thing to do to keep your pets cool during the summer is to limit their exercise in intense heat. Of course, you don’t want to keep your pet cooped up inside all summer. But it’s a good idea to limit their exercise when it’s hot outside.

This is especially true if you are exercising your pet outside. You don’t want to risk your pet getting overheated in the summer heat. Try to keep exercise limited to the morning hours or late evening when the sun is low in the sky.

If you notice that your pet is panting excessively during exercise, or if they start to have trouble breathing, you should end the exercise immediately. You should also be sure to provide plenty of water for your pet after any exercise or play time, so they can replace any fluids that were lost.

keeping your pets cool

Consider a New Haircut

If your pet is of the furry variety, consider a shorter trim to help them battle the heat during the summer months, especially if they have a long thick coat. Fur acts as an insulator, which is great in the winter but it can make it hard to stay cool when the temperatures rise. However, it’s important not to shave your pet down to the bare skin. A little bit of fur is important to protect them from heat stroke and sunburn.

If you prefer not to cut your pet’s fur at least be sure to maintain a regular brushing routine. Brushing your pet helps remove loose hairs and reduce matting, both of which can trap more heat close to their bodies.

Apply a Towel or Ice Pack to Your Pet

Another way to help keep your pet cool during the summer is to apply a wet towel or ice pack to their body. Apply these cool compresses to your pet’s paws, legs, or stomach to help lower their body temperature and give them some relief from the heat.

You can apply the wet towel for about 20 minutes, and then take it off for about 5 minutes to allow their skin to breathe. You can re-apply the towel as often as you’d like, but be careful about allowing ice packs to have direct contact with the skin. You only want to do this for short periods of time.

Provide Plenty of Shady Resting Spots

Another way to help keep your pet cool during the summer is to provide them with plenty of shady resting spots. You can do this by planting trees, or putting up shade screens in your pet’s resting areas. This will help them stay cool, especially in hot outdoor areas.

You can also create shady areas by putting up outdoor shade canopies or using outdoor umbrellas. Consider providing your pet with water misters or small plastic swimming pools to help keep them cool. You can also purchase pet cooling beds or use a fan to help keep them cool.

Watch for Signs of Heat Illness in Pets

If your pet is spending a lot of time outdoors during the summer months, you will want to watch them closely for signs of heat illness.

Pets can develop heat illness when they spend too much time in hot temperatures, especially when exercising or playing. This illness can be very serious, and even life-threatening. This is why it’s important to recognize the signs.

The signs of heat illness in pets that are spending time in the summer heat include:

  • excessive panting
  • increased heartbeat
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • restlessness
  • lethargy
  • seizures

If you see any of these signs, you will want to take your pet inside immediately, and get them medical attention as soon as possible.

Keeping Your Pets Cool this Summer

You care about your dog or cat, and keeping your pets cool is critical for the summer season. Pets can get heat stroke just like humans. This is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. Signs to look out for include heavy panting, drooling, restlessness, and red, warm skin. If you see any of these signs, immediately move your pet to a cooler location or somewhere with air conditioning.

It’s also important to keep your pet hydrated during the hot summer months. Pets sweat, just like humans, and they can become dehydrated quickly. Offer plenty of fresh cool water, especially when exercising.

Do you have questions about pet hydration or heat illness? Contact us at Animal Care Center for Assistance. If you believe your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Please call us today to learn more.