Fact: When we get hot, we sweat. When animals get hot, they pant.
Unfortunately, panting is not the most efficient means of cooling down an overheated body. During those hot summer months and during the days of Indian Summer we can help our pets stay cool (and prevent heat exhaustion!) by taking a few simple precautions.
Problem: It’s hot and my pet lives outside. How can I help keep him cool?
Provide access to shade and plenty of cool drinking water.
Consider purchasing a kiddie pool and filling it with a few inches of clean water. This is a fun and effective way for your dog to cool down.
Have a well-ventilated doghouse that is kept in the shade—often the plastic types are quite cool inside on a hot day. Doghouses aren’t only for dogs! They work for cats, too.
If you have a rabbit, keep the hutch in the shade–in the wild, rabbits spend the hottest part of the day in their underground burrows where it’s cool.
Problem: My dog wants to go everywhere with me! What can I do?
Solution: The best thing to do is leave your pet at home on those hot days. But if that is impossible:
Leave car windows completely rolled down for maximum airflow. Use pet-secure window screens or keep your pet in a well-ventilated kennel. Use a travel food and water feeder to keep fresh water available.
A Canine Cooler therapeutic dog bed allows you to take your dog with you, but keeps him cool in the car.
Use a secure dog leash to attach your dog to a shaded post or tree while you get your groceries, deliver your package, or pick up your prescription.
Bring a gallon of fresh, cool water and a bowl from home. Some dogs and cats will appreciate ice cubes in their water. (Hint: A six-pack cooler holds about a gallon of water.)
Check on your pet every few minutes.
Find out whether your pet is more susceptible to heatstroke than others, and how to recognize the signs of heatstroke and what to do, by clicking here.