Summer means heading outdoors and soaking up the sizzling sun’s rays, while lounging on a boat or in the pool. Naturally, you want your furry pal to also enjoy all the adventures of the season, but your thick-coated pet may not be too excited about playing in the heat of the day. Before venturing into the scorching outdoors, check out the following 10 tips, to help your pet beat the heat, and enjoy the summer safely by your side.
#1: Create frozen treats for your pet
While ice cream sundaes are incredible all year-round, your furry pal will also appreciate a frozen treat made especially for them. Whip up a “pupsicle” for your canine companion by freezing a rubber Kong stuffed with peanut butter, yogurt, canned food, or fresh fruit, for a few hours. Cats enjoy frozen Kongs filled with canned food or tuna. You can also make ice cubes with tuna juice, or the liquid from canned food, to add to your pet’s water dish.
#2: Train your dog to wear a life vest
Before heading out on a boat, or splashing in the deep end of the pool, fit your dog for a life vest. Try it out on dry land first to ensure a good fit, and to acclimate your pet to moving comfortably in the unusual gear. Then, head out for a fun-filled day of swimming with your best friend, always keeping a close eye on your pup, to ensure their head stays above water, and no accidents occur.
#3: Let your pet splash in a wading pool
While your cat likely won’t hop into a kiddie pool to cool off, your dog may appreciate a refreshing soak or swim. Fill a wading pool with a few inches of cool water—depending on your pet’s size and swimming ability—and enjoy frolicking in the water with your furry pal.
#4: Ensure your pet has a shady, cool resting spot
Whether indoors or out, ensure your fluffy friend can rest in a well-shaded, cool spot. Although many pets enjoy lazing in the sun’s rays, they can quickly overheat, especially if outdoors with high temperatures and humidity. Offer your pet a shady, ventilated area for relaxing and cooling off, whether they’re indoors or outside. While your pet may enjoy the sun’s heat, try to keep your furry pal out of direct sunlight as much as possible, to avoid increasing the risk for squamous cell carcinoma.
#5: Play outdoors with your pet during the coolest time of day
When the temperature and humidity level skyrocket, it’s miserable outdoors, especially if you’re wearing a permanent fur coat. Think of your pet when choosing the best time to exercise and play outdoors—the cool, early morning is often best, but late evening can also cool down enough to be comfortable and safe for outdoor activities.
#6: Choose water or low-energy activities to play outside with your pet
During the height of summer, when temperatures are close to that triple-digit mark, nothing feels better than a dip in the pool. Your pet may not enjoy swimming, but a sprinkler or mister in the yard can help your furry pal cool off when playing. Otherwise, avoid the typical intense activities your rough-and-tumble dog usually enjoys, and instead of a nonstop game of fetch, try some nosework, by hiding small treats throughout your backyard.
#7: Protect your pet’s paws when walking on pavement
If you’ve ever tried in summer to run across your paved driveway while barefoot, you know how scorching that surface can be. Despite common perception, your dog’s paw pads are not impervious to extreme temperatures, and can easily burn on asphalt and pavement. Slather on a protective paw wax, slip on some doggie booties, or avoid paved surfaces altogether, to keep your pet’s paws safe.
#8: Encourage your pet to drink more during hot weather
No matter how hot the weather, some pets simply do not like to drink much, especially cats. Encourage your furry pal to remain hydrated by installing a drinking fountain, or adding a tiny amount of sodium-free chicken broth to their water dish. You can also add canned food to your pet’s normal diet, to increase moisture intake.
#9: Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle
Although having your pet’s company while running errands is wonderful, they can quickly overheat when left in your vehicle. Accidents can happen—the car can shut off, or the air-conditioning control knob can get bumped, and rolling down the windows does not help. Keep your pet safe by leaving them behind in the comfort of your air-conditioned home.
#10: Stock up on parasite prevention for your pet
During the height of summer, parasites are at their worst, seeking out any living creature for their next meal. Fleas can attack pets, and create irritating hot spots, while ticks and mosquitoes can transmit potentially life-threatening diseases. Protect your furry pal from becoming a parasite’s next hot meal by administering a preventive on a regular schedule. If you’re unsure about the parasite prevention products that will work best for your pet, check out our online pharmacy, or stop by the Harbor Pines Veterinary Center, so we can ensure your best friend is well-protected.
Is your four-legged friend having too much fun in the sun? If your furry pal experiences a summer-related problem, contact us for an appointment.