How to keep your pet cool in hot weather

Dogs enjoy sleeping belly up in the summer

During the dog days of summer (pun intended!) pets easily can become overheated risking heat exhaustion. Because dogs and cats are unable to sweat as we humans do, they musy resort to panting to cool their system down. Unfortunately, trouble arises when panting is not sufficient because the temperature in the environemnt is the same as the pet's temperature, turning panting into a useless acitivity.

There are several ways owners can keep their dear pets cool this summer. While some are common sense, it all basically comes down to avoiding direct exposure to heat and keeping temepratures acceptable in their enviroment.

For Dogs:

As mentioned, dogs need to pant to cool down. Therefore, owners should ensure that the dog's surrounding areas enables him to efficiently pant. There are some dog breeds that are less tolerant to heat waves because they either come from areas with cold climates or because their facial features make breathing and cooling down difficult (Brachycephalic breeds). Dark colored coated dogs tend to soak up the sun rasys much more than lighter coated dogs, so watch these dogs for signs of overheating. Following are some dog breeds that cannot tolerate heat well.

  • Siberian Huskies
  • American Eskimos
  • Malamutes
  • Newfoundland
  • Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Boxers
  • Shar-Peis
  • Boston Terriers

Here are some tips on what to avoid and what to do to in order to keep your dog cool.

-Provide shade

If you own an outdoor dog always make sure your dog has lots of fresh water and shade. Keep the water bowl in a shade area as well. Dogs as humans do not appreciate drinking water as hot as broth. Ensure the bowl is spill proof as well, as it is not unheard of leaving the dog out all day only to come home and find an upside down water bowl and a very dehydrated dog.

-Watch the hours

If your dog is an outdoor dog, if feasible try to at least take him indoors during the afternoon hours when the heat can easily reach into the triple digits.

-Get a kiddie pool

A children's pool can cost less that 20 dollars and provide a summer long time of entertainment for you and your dog. Make sure the water is not too deep for your dog tp prevent drowning.Supervision is a must for petite dogs. Most dogs love water or will learn to love water once they notice how fun it may be. Toss in some toys in the pool, put on a sprinkler and your dog acqua park is open for business!

-Prevent Sunburn

Dogs get sunburn too! Especially those with light or white coats and white ears and muzzles. Dogs as well can get skin cancer. These dogs in particular (and basically all dogs) should stay away from direct sunlight and should not sun bath in that nice sunny spot coming from the behind the window. Never use human sun tan lotion on dogs, it contains Zinc oxide that is harmful if licked off.

-Give a hair cut

Dogs with long hair will greatly benefit and thank you once you give that long hair a nice clipping. If you do not have a good pair of clippers your dog's groomer will be eager to help your pooch get some relief. Make sure your dog still has some hair to protect from the sun rays, basically avoid ''military hair cuts'' in dogs where the skin shows through.

-Know the symptoms

Heat stroke can occur witihin minutes if certain conditions of temeprature are met. Owners should be aware of the symptoms so to take action immediately. Following are symptoms suggesting heat stroke in dogs:

  • -Heavy panting
  • -Difficulty and noisy breathing
  • -Bright red tongue and bright red gums
  • -Tacky saliva
  • -Bloody diarrhea
  • - The presence of ''petechiae'': small pinpoint bleeding under the skin

Treatment for heatstroke can be found here: How to treat heatstroke in dogs.

In cats:

While peope are used to seeing dogs pants, seeing a cat panting with its mouth wide open may look quite disturbing. Cats just as dogs, rely on panting when over heating because cannot sweat other than from their paws. Cats generally do not suffer from the summer heat as much as dogs because they are desert animals, however they are prone to heatsroke as well, especially cats with long hair. While cats cannot be like dogs put in a pool full of water, there are other ways to cool poor kitty down.

-DLH TO DSH

If it is really hot turn your domestic long hair into a domestic short hair by getting out those clippers. Cats benefit from a nice hair trim as well. If you like stylish cats ask your groomer for a ''lion cut''. Basically a cute tuft of hair will be left on the tail, there will be hair around the neck forming a mane and at the base of the legs. As in dogs, make sure the cut is not too short, you want some hair to protect the skin.

-Say no to sunbaths

Cats love bathing in the sun right by the window but just as dogs they may get sunburns and even skin cancer. This applies in particular to cats with light skin and pale noses and ears. Keep the blinds closed so the room becomes dark and cool.

-Use a wet sponge

While kitty will not jump in your pool, she will benefit from a wet sponge passed on her head. Most cats will not mind when it is really hot and some may even appear to appreciate it under these circumstances.

-Confine to cool areas

Keep your cat in the basement if it is cooler, or the bath room. Many cats will seek the bathroom on their own because they like to lay down on the cool tiles. It is not unusual to find kitty laying in the bathtub or in kitchen sink.

-Use ice cubes

Keep your cat's water cool by adding ice cubes to it. Cats love drinking fountains and they may be entertained by it.

As seen, there are several ways to help Rover and Snowball keep cool when the mercury rises. It is never a bad thing to practice extra caution  and abide to the better safe than sorry protocol this summer.


Ways to keep dogs cool

Handi-Drink Dog Water Bottle- 17 Oz - The Portable, Spill-proof Way to Keep Pets Hydrated, Color may vary
Handi-Drink Dog Water Bottle- 17 Oz - The Portable, Spill-proof Way to Keep Pets Hydrated, Color may vary

The Portable, Spill-Proof Way to Keep Pets Hydrated. Compact, portable Guardian GearTM Handi-Drink keeps pets supplied with fresh water on the go. Patented rubber flow-control valve in the cap prevents leaks, spills and backwash contamination. Easy-to-use, handheld design includes a plastic 17 oz. water bottle and dispenser tray/cover. Simply snap the bottle upright into the tray and squeeze the bottle to dispense water into the tray. Includes convenient belt clip and carrying strap. Bottle folds into tray for easy portability when not in use.

 
Cool Bed III - Large Cooling, Cushioning Waterbed for your Dog
Cool Bed III - Large Cooling, Cushioning Waterbed for your Dog

No electricity is required to operate the Cool bed III and these beds are attractively designed and allow a cool spot for dogs. Simply add the recommended amount of water through the easy fill cap and burp with the new easy air adjustment valve. Our unique Cool Core diverts the liquid better than ever throughout the bed for advanced cooling power. The new nylon/vinyl exterior is tougher than ever!! Being extremely affordable, the Cool bed III is the choice for any dog owner looking to offer their pet a comfy, dry, cool place to relax. * Recommended for indoor and outdoor use. *

 
K&H Manufacturing Cool Bed III Large Gray32-Inch by 44-Inch
K&H Manufacturing Cool Bed III Large Gray32-Inch by 44-Inch

No electricity is required to operate the Cool bed III and these beds are attractively designed and allow a cool spot for dogs. Simply add the recommended amount of water through the easy fill cap and burp with the new easy air adjustment valve. Our unique Cool Core diverts the liquid better than ever throughout the bed for advanced cooling power. The new nylon/vinyl exterior is tougher than ever!! Being extremely affordable, the Cool bed III is the choice for any dog owner looking to offer their pet a comfy, dry, cool place to relax. Recommended for indoor and outdoor use.

 
Outward Hound Kyjen   Designer Cool-It Bandana, Medium, Blue
Outward Hound Kyjen Designer Cool-It Bandana, Medium, Blue

Blue and brown bandana with reflective edging keeps pet cool for several hours neck size 14 to 19 inches. Place in freezer before use reusable and hand washable. Non Toxic Polymer Crystals That Absorb 30 Times Their Weight

 
Cool K-9 Evaporative Cooling Dog Reflective Safety Vest - Large
Cool K-9 Evaporative Cooling Dog Reflective Safety Vest - Large

Using water absorbing, polymer crystals, sewn into supplex fabric, the evaporative process allows heat to physically transfer from the dog to the jacket, similar to our bodies own manner of cooling through perspiration. Keeping your dog cool and protected from heat exhaustion. The COOL K-9 cooling jacket for dogs can help your dog stay cool on hot days. Water-absorbing, cross-linked polymer crystals are sewn into the lining. Once saturated with water, the jacket works by evaporation. The evaporative process allows heat to transfer from the dog to the jacket, and from the jacket to the air  similar to our bodies own manner of cooling through perspiration. The jacket absorbs water quickly, but releases it slowly. By submerging the jacket in water for just a few minutes, the crystals absorb enough to keep the evaporative process going for up to several days. Even when fully soaked, the jacket holds the water, keeping your dog cool and dry. The jacket can be charged over and over. When winter comes, a dry jacket becomes an insulating jacket, helping to cut the cold. **In addition, COOL K-9 is equipped with reflective strips to make your dog more visible at night. The yellow and red design also increases your dogs visibility in all environments. The jacket is a year-round safety device.

 

Encourage kitty to drink

Petmate Ultra Bubbler Watering System, Medium, Peacock Blue
Petmate Ultra Bubbler Watering System, Medium, Peacock Blue

Encourage your dogs or cats to enjoy cool, healthy water. The Petmate Ultra Bubbler Watering System provides a fun bubbling water effect that will stimulate any pet and make it eager to drink. It automatically replenishes the water level from the transparent reservoir and constantly oxygenates the water to supply a better taste. The fun, stylish design fits any kitchen décor. No filters are needed. An AC power cord is included to generate the exciting bubble effect. The Petmate Ultra Bubbler Watering System measures 12.3 x 10.3 x 14.3 inches and holds up to 1.5 gallons of water.

 
PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain
PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Pet Fountain

The Drinkwell® 360 Pet Fountain can provide up to five, patented free falling water streams for multiple pet owning households. The Drinkwell® 360 was designed with the multiple pet household in mind, giving owners the ability to customize their fountain with the five interchangeable spout rings included with each fountain. Pets no longer have to wait their turn for a quick lap of water; they now can each have their own fresh flowing stream of water from any angle. Utilizing the same filtration technology as the other Drinkwell® Fountains, the Drinkwell® 360 constantly circulates the water which inhibits bacteria growth, keeping the water tasting fresh and appealing to pets!

 

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Comments 4 comments

melshomecorner profile image

melshomecorner 7 years ago from Mississippi

helpful hub , I love the pictures of your dog


alexadry profile image

alexadry 7 years ago from USA Author

lol! I love it when they sleep like that!


Kylee 4 years ago

I have a boxer so this helpful.????


alexadry profile image

alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Yes, these tips apply to Boxers too.

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