Every winter, us humans excitedly count down to the summer months, and look forward to the return of the warm weather, but our pets? Not so much. In fact, as the temperatures climb, our furry friends become increasingly more uncomfortable as they struggle to regulate their temperature and keep cool during the heatwave.
Unlike us, cats and dogs aren’t able to sweat through their skin, only their paw pads. Dogs will pant as their main way to cool down and cats will also pant when they’re extremely hot. Add to that their furry coats and it’s no wonder our pets can suffer as the temperature rises.
There’s plenty us owners can do to help our pets feel cool and comfortable during the summer months. Here, we’ve rounded up expert advice on the ways you can help your pets during the next few months and even included advice from our Pawfit community!
- Have plenty of fresh, cool water available for your pet to drink
- Don’t let them spend too much time in a hot a room where they are likely to overheat, like in a conservatory
- If possible, create a cool room with a fresh breeze from either an open window or by setting up a fan. Some cats and dogs will seek out cool tiles to lie on when they feel too hot. If you don’t have tiled floors, you could buy a couple and pop them in the fridge to cool them before laying them out for your pet to lie on.
- If it’s too hot for outside play, plan some sniffy games inside like hiding treats around a room for your dog to sniff out
In the garden
- Make sure there’s plenty of shaded spots in the garden. This can be shrubs, bushes and trees, or a sheet or blanket hung up
- Have plenty of water sources throughout the garden and keep them topped up with cool water
- If it’s too hot for a proper walk, try some training and game playing in a shaded spot of the garden to keep your dog occupied and remember to take regular breaks so they can cool down
Time for a haircut
If your pet has long fur, they’ll likely find it harder than their short coated friends to keep cool. You might want to take them to the groomers for a big hair cut and book in for regular appointments until the weather starts to cool again.
Most dogs still need to walk at least once a day even in hot weather so, here’s our tips for making it more comfortable for them:
- Walk early or late in the evening
- Test the temperature of the pavement and road by touching them with your bare hand – if get’s uncomfortable after 10s, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on
- If possible, try and walk in shaded areas
- Even if your dog loves a big run around, try to go at a nice, easy pace
- Take plenty of breaks so your dog can drink water and have a rest
- If you feel it’s too hot for your dog, skip the walk and plan some enrichment games to provide them with some mental stimulation
Keep it cool
We asked the Pawfit community for their tips on how they keep their pets cool during the summer months and here’s what they had to say:
- Get a paddling pool and fill it with cold water and some ice cubes- my dog loves to sit in it for hours!
- Freeze their favourite fruit or veggies in water and give them to your dog to chomp on
- A cooling mat – perfect for lying on in the shade and can be put in the back of the car for post walkies relaxing
- A cooling jacket – my dog wears theirs during their walk to stop them over heating
- Ice cubes are a great, crunchy snack
- When it’s too hot for a walk, I hide food around the garden/house for my dog to sniff out. He’s always tired after a good sniff game!
- Fill a Kong with peanut butter and some fruit and then stick it in the freezer – hours of entertainment for them and a nice cool treat
- Slower paced, sniffy walks in the early morning and late evening when it’s a lot cooler
What are you tips for keeping your pet cool in the summer heat? Let us know by sending an email to Support@Pawfit.com or by sending us a DM on social.