Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer With These 5 Tips
As England is renowned for its unpredictable weather, it can be easy to underestimate the strength of the sun as we finally arrive in the summer season. Although we have no trouble identifying when we need to reapply our sunscreen or cover up our skin to prevent burning, it can be difficult to know how to keep your pet cool during bouts of hot sun. This article serves to explain the top 5 tips for keeping your pet feeling comfortable and cool during the summer…
1. Avoid heatstroke
Make sure you save your outdoor time with your pet for either early in the morning or later in the evening once the sun has set. By taking your daily walk or run in the park before or after the sun is at its hottest, the ground will be cooler on the pads of your pet’s paws and the air will be easier for them to breathe during exercise or playtime. If these times of day are inconvenient and you find yourself out at midday with your pet, be sure to keep them out of the direct sunlight by giving them a shady place to stay.
The most common cause of heatstroke is being left in a hot, poorly ventilated area such as a car or hot room. For long car journeys to the beach or on holiday during the heat of summer, do not leave any animal in a car without proper ventilation and in the direct sunlight, especially unattended. By keeping the air con on or the windows open, you are ensuring there is sufficient air flow throughout the vehicle for your pet.
As well as overheating, pets can also get dehydrated quickly, so make sure you provide them with plenty of fresh, clean water to ensure your animal remains suitably topped up on fluids throughout the day. If your dog becomes overheated, it’s important to cool your dog off gradually. When a dog is hot and thirsty, they are likely to drink the water too fast, and swallow lots of air in the process! Try to avoid this by making sure you have a constant supply of water to guarantee your dog remains cool for as long as possible during the hot weather.
3. Trimming and Brushing
Many pet owners incorrectly think that shaving their animals will help cool them down during hot weather as they are under the impression that their pet’s fur will cause them to overheat. However, the layers of your pet’s coat will, in fact, help to protect them from sunburn and overheating, and while trimming hair is correct for when it grows too long, it is unnecessary to do so for cooling purposes.
Brushing your animal, particularly your cat, more often will help to remove loose fur which can also prevent overheating. Matted fur traps heat, so brushing your pet will allow air to flow freely through their body and keep them cool.
So, be sure to avoid shaving for cooling purposes, as this will expose your cat to direct sunlight and result in sunburn and heightened risks of skin cancer.
4. Create a cool retreat
Constructing a place where your animal can retreat to and relax is an effective way of making your pet feel safe and keep them out of the hot weather. Simply place a cardboard box on its side and put it in a quiet place, such as behind a chair or by a cool place in the house. Line the box with a soft towel or other breathable natural material which is not too warm, and place an ice pack inside a sock underneath the towel for an added cooling effect.
This is an effective way of making sure your pet has a familiar place to go when they are feeling tired or hot so they do not overheat or become ill.
5. Shaded spots
All pet owners must make sure their garden has some shaded areas for their outdoor animal to enjoy and play in without becoming overheated. Don’t worry if this is an unfamiliar space to your pet – they will quickly find the area and become accustomed to playing in this new spot.
If your current plants do not create enough shade yet, or you do not have a garden, why don’t you put up some shade cloth fabric which your pet can lie under without risk of sunburn. We recommend you choose an area with a gentle breeze so there is a constant air flow for your pet. Be sure to check any outdoor buildings and greenhouses before closing the doors, as any unventilated properties could overheat and might prove fatal if you accidentally lock your pet in the building.
Why not keep your pet entertained with your cooling-down techniques? Toss a couple of ice cubes on the floor in front of your animal for them to play with so they are having fun and keeping cool. Alternatively, you could use a garden hose to wet down your pet or set up a sprinkler so that there is a constant flow of fresh, cool water to prevent them from overheating.
Our team of animal specialists here at Jaycliffe Kennels and Cattery provide kennel and cattery facilities for the temporary care of pets throughout Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield and the surrounding areas. Our wealth of experience in the industry means we have the knowledge and expertise to look after your beloved pet, so you can rest assured they are in safe hands. Simply give us a call or contact us online today for further information about any of the services we provide!