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7 Ways to Keep Your Pet Cool in the Summer

Published on: June 21, 2023  |  Author: Starwood Pet Travel

dog floating in the water

As much as we love basking in the sun during summer, it can become unbearable for humans and pets alike. The scorching heat can pose serious health risks to our furry friends, but with a little effort, we can ensure their safety and comfort all season long.

Self-help options are limited

While dogs and cats do not perspire like humans do, they do sweat between the pads of their paws, which has limited value in cooling them down. Panting is the most common way for both dogs and cats to release body heat, although in cats, it can also be a sign of stress rather than overheating. Cats are unique in that they groom themselves to cool off as the moisture from their tongue evaporates, which can be simulated by stroking your pet with a damp cloth.

However, our pets are still vulnerable to the sun and temperature, making it crucial to keep them out of direct sunlight. If your yard does not have adequate shade, providing a well-ventilated dog house or setting up a large umbrella or beach tent is highly recommended. Overheating puts pets at risk of serious health issues such as sunstroke, heat rash, or sunburn, which are often overlooked.

  1. To keep your furry friend cool, consider using products such as cooling vests, gel pad cooling mats, or elevate their bed to allow for all-around cooling airflow.
  2. It's important to use products that are specifically designed for pets to keep them cool during hot weather. Avoid using store-bought gel packs, as they can easily be chewed or ripped open by your furry friend's sharp nails. Stick to pet-safe cooling options to ensure their safety and comfort.
  3. It is essential to have ample water available both indoors and outdoors, and for shorter adventures, cooling collars, and bandanas can be an easy and effective alternative.
  4. Remember, protecting your pet from sunburn is also important, especially for animals with short or light-colored fur and pink skin. Use a high-SPF product that provides broad-spectrum protection, and avoid using anything containing zinc oxide or salicylates, which are toxic to dogs and cats, respectively.
  5. Never leave your pets in a car on a warm day, as the temperature inside can quickly rise to dangerous levels.
  6. If your dog enjoys water, a child's wading pool can provide a refreshing break from the heat. Lure them in with some treats, and who knows, they might even let you join in on the fun.
  7. If you're lucky enough to live near a river, lake, or beach, take advantage of the "real thing" and make sure to prioritize water safety as well as sun protection.

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