Animals

How to Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer

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Temperatures are predicted to soar into the high forties this week and heatwave conditions are expected to continue throughout summer, with records expected to be broken in some parts of the United States. 

While keeping ourselves and our homes cool is usually at the forefront of our minds in this kind of weather, preparing your pets for the heat should be a priority.

PETstock vets Dr. Rod Sharpin and Dr. Hay Chung are alerting pet parents to the dangers of dehydration and heatstroke in pets during the warmer months. Here, Dr. Sharpin and Chung share their top tips for keeping pets of all kinds cool, comfortable, and hydrated on hot days.

Keep them out of the heat.

It may sound obvious but keeping your pets indoors and out of the heat is the most effective thing you can do to keep them cool. 

“When possible, bring your pet inside to escape the heat; always ensure your pet’s water bowls remain full and add ice cubes on warmer days to keep the water cooler for longer, or freeze some treats. You can even try freezing watermelon, apple, or cucumber for a tasty snack,” says Dr. Sharpin.

Keep them hydrated.

Dr. Sharpin explains the importance of having cool, clean water available all day. “Your pet can never have too much fresh, cool water, especially during the summer months. Have multiple water bowls available. Provide your pet with fresh water daily, and monitor your buddy’s daily water intake.

“Use a heavy container or place a weight in the bottom of your pet’s water bowl so it cannot be easily knocked over,” he says.

Avoid excessive exercise.

Heat stroke is another risk on warm days, particularly with energetic dogs. “Heat stroke happens when the dog’s body temperature gets too high. This is caused by a combination of hot weather, high-energy activities such as running, and sometimes dehydration,” says Dr. Chung. 

“To reduce the risk of heat stroke, avoid exercise or visiting the beach in the hottest part of the day – early mornings or late afternoons are best,” she adds. Swimming is a great way for dogs to get some exercise and stay cool. If a beach or river isn’t easily accessible, a small paddling pool is a great alternative.

Use sunscreen.

Like us, pets are susceptible to skin cancer so make sure to keep your buddy protected with canine sunscreen – this is particularly important for dogs with exposed skin, pink noses or short hair.

Keep smaller pets cool.

  • For birds, using a spray bottle filled with water will help to keep your feathery friends cool this summer. A bird bath is also a great option. Ensure the bath is deep enough for your bird to have a splash around, but not so deep that they’re unable get out on their own.
  • It is important to keep fish tanks away from windows and direct sun. Bunnies, ferrets and 
  • Guinea pigs are very sensitive to heat. It’s essential their hutch is kept in a cool, shady place and brought inside on days when the weather gets extreme.
  • Domestic pets aren’t the only ones affected by the heat. Leave a bowl of water out for wildlife, too.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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