Keeping Your Pets Cool This Summer

Sophie is two and a half now, but her energy level is still that of a puppy! Boxers are such loving and playful beings. Yes, she gets into a lot of mischief but the good definitely outweighs the bad. The kids love her and she is totally not bothered by them at all.
During the summer, we spend a lot of time outdoors. Mostly by the pool where Sophie will keep a close eye on the kids with me. She often follows Bunbun back and forth as she swims. It’s the cutest thing! However, what’s not cute is, heat stroke in pets.

On a clear day, with temps above 70° and in a non-shaded area, the heat can cause serious issues, such as a seizure, cardiac arrest, a coma and even death. Pets don’t perspire the way we do, so it’s difficult for them to cool off as a human would. Dogs in particular pant to keep themselves cool and their only sweat glands are actually on the pads of their feet! And did you know that thanks to their incredible kidneys cats can actually drink salt water! As pet owners, we have to know the signs of heat stroke and the various ways to keep our pets cool so it never reaches that level.

Signs of heatstroke in dogs include:
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Excessive Panting
  • Increased Salivation
  • Red or Pale Gums
  • Bright Red Tongue
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarreah

Note: If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms. Move her into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.

Make sure your pets are cool this summer by following these simple tips:

  • NEVER leave your pet in a car, even if you are parked in the shade. And if you do have to take your pet in the car, make sure it’s a suitable one and you have them restrained, a worrying amount of owners don’t take the right steps to ensure their dogs safety as found in this survey by https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk/blog/homeward-hound-cars-and-dogs/.
  • Keep older pets indoors as much as possible.
  • Do not muzzle your dog.
  • Keep water available at all times.
  • Provide a well-shaded area for your pets.
  • Restrict exercise in the afternoons, if possible. Early morning and evenings are best when the temps are going back down.

If you’d still like to play with your dog in the afternoon, try some of these fun activities:
  • Swimming – Play fetch and let your pooch go for a swim! If you don’t have a pool, those plastic kiddie pools are great as well for roaming around!
  • Water Play – Spray the Hose or purchase an attachable sprinkler for a fun time. The kids love this too!
  • Car Ride – Take a trip with the windows down.
  • Go to the Beach – Dogs love the beach and the ocean is so much fun! Did you know they even have life vests for dogs?
  • Water Park – Check with your local water parks or city water play areas. Some parks schedule special water play days for dogs toward the end of summer. It’s so much fun for them and a great opportunity to meet other dog owners alike.
  • Ice Cream – Most grocery stores carry Frosty Paws Ice Cream, which is made specifically for dogs! It’s a cool treat, sure to keep him/her refreshed in the summer.

Don’t worry if you can’t find Ice Cream for dogs at your local grocery store. Follow this simple recipe from The Humane Society to make your own:

Puppy Pops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut butter, preferably unsalted and unsweetened
  • Half a ripe banana, mashed
  • Water as needed

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. (The water and banana aren’t essential, but they help with freezing consistency.)
  2. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, or use Kong-style rubber toys that have a cavity you can fill.
  3. Spoon the mixture onto the tray just like you would cookie dough, or stuff it into the toys. Freeze the tray or toys for several hours or overnight. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer.
  4. Serve, and turn any hot dog into a happy camper.

Note: Pet popsicles can be made out of all kinds of things your dog (or cats) eat normally, so experiment to see what your dog likes best. The frozen Kong-style toys make a great cool-down treat for when you will be away for a few hours. Try treats suspended in water, watered down wet food and favorite frozen veggies. Avoid: onions and onion powder, grapes and raisins, salt, macadamia nuts, tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb leaves and stems, avocados and anything else on this list.

What are some other ways you keep your pets cool in the summer?

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