How to keep pets cool in summer
During the warmer summer months, and especially during a heatwave, we all know the feeling of being too hot and the struggle to stay cool! Our pets can also feel the heat in summer, and because they can’t tell us when they’re uncomfortable, it’s important we can spot the signs of overheating and how to cool down pets; big and small.
Luckily, we've got lots of little wins to make sure your pet stays chilled this summer.
How to keep pets cool
When the temperature rises, here are just a few ways to help your furry friends keep their cool:
- When you’re outside, try and keep pets in shaded areas, as much as they might love to be in the sunshine!
- Lay them on our cooling mat for pets. This clever pet bed contains cooling gel technology which activates as your dog moves
- Try soaking our hooded microfibre towel robe in some cool water before laying it around your dog
- Make playtime super chilled with a cool soak bone. Simply pop these chew-safe toys into the freezer for a cooling treat they’ll love
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a serious illness that can happen when your pet becomes too hot and can’t lower their temperature. If it’s not treated, it can lead to seizures, organ failure and even death. Here’s what to look out for, what to do if it happens and how to prevent it:
Signs of heatstroke
- Heavy panting
What to do
- Move your pet somewhere cool
- Get them to drink small amounts of water
- Stroke them with cool (not cold) water, try draping them in a cold towel for 5 minutes
- Lay them in a cool breeze, or in front of a fan
- Get in touch with your vet - the earlier your pet is treated the better
How to prevent it happening
- Walk your dog early in the morning and in the evening to avoid the hottest parts of the days
- Give your pet access to plenty of clean drinking water throughout the day
- Spray your pet with cool water regularly
Pets should never be left in hot cars, even if it’s parked in the shade with the windows open. Caravans, conservatories and outbuildings can also get very hot so avoid these too. If you see a pet in a hot car that has signs of heatstroke, call 999 immediately.
Keep them hydrated
Always have fresh, clean drinking water available so they don’t become dehydrated. Pop plenty of bowls around your home and garden, ideally somewhere they can’t easily be knocked over while you're out. You could also have fun outdoors with your dog, they’ll love nothing more than dipping their paws in a paddling pool or cooling off through a sprinkler.
Whatever activities you choose, just make sure they don’t involve too much movement, as this will just make them warmer.
Be ready for walkies in hot weather
If it’s going to be a warm day, the ideal time for pets to be exercised is early in the morning or late in the evening. Avoid walkies during the hottest parts of the day between 11am and 3pm. Surfaces such as tarmac and asphalt in particular can get very hot and burn their delicate paws. For example, when it’s 25°C (77°F) outside, the heat of asphalt can be as much as 52°C (125°F). If in doubt, place the back of your hand on the surface first. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them to walk on.
Don’t forget to take a water bottle with you too. Our pet bottle flask easily clips onto clothing, making it perfect for when you’re on the go.
Give them a good groom
Because of how our pets have evolved, experts tell us that our pet’s long fur can actually help to keep them cooler during warm weather. It prevents the UV rays from penetrating their skin, which means if you shave their fur it could leave them exposed to these harmful rays, causing sunburn and the risk of skin cancer.
A good way of keeping both dogs and cats cool is to groom them regularly to get rid of any tangles or loose fur. Dog combs and brushes are perfect for clearing away any old fur, and there’s lots of pet hair remover tools to keep kitty happy too.
Remember to keep checking for fleas and ticks throughout summer as they thrive in hotter weather. Dog flea treatment and worming tablets are easy to use and will keep them healthy and happy all year round.
Tips for small animals
Small pets need a little extra care in summer too. Hamsters are very sensitive to sunlight and heat, so make sure they’re kept in a cool place at all times. The enclosures of small animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, should be kept in a shady spot outside that’s away from draughts.
If you think your rabbit, guinea pig or other pet may be suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cool, shady spot. Wrap them in a cool, damp towel and phone your vet.
With these tips, you and your pet will be able to enjoy a wonderful summer together!