Many people get a grin on their face when they think of hot summer days. But we all know that too much of a good thing can be bad, especially for your pets. How do you keep the summer fun for your furry friends? Here are some tips:
- Water, water everywhere. Some dogs and cats enjoy a few ice cubes to keep it cool and as a chew toy. Some animals do not like ice though, so have an non-iced version available to make sure they keep hydrated.
- Frozen treats for your pets! Nothing like a frozen treat on a hot day, try this for the kitties: Catsicles.
- Water Park? Do you have a kiddie pool or sprinkler that you can let your dog enjoy (supervised!) on those hot days?
- Exercise that Thinking Muscle. Yes dogs need walks, but on very, very hot days, shorter walks are better. Try to find ways to exercise your dogs mind if it is too hot for a longer walk. There are lots of ideas for inexpensive toys across the web – just a little research will give you loads of ideas like a water bottle in an old sock, knots made out of old jeans, tennis balls hiding treats in drink carriers, crumpled up paper with a treat in the middle. Just remember to watch how your dog or cat to see what they like and to make sure that they don’t eat small plastic bits.
- Walking Cool. Early morning and later evening walks are best in the heat. You may also want to look into doggie boots in your local pet supply store. Pavement can get dangerously hot and burn sensitive paws.
- Sitting Cool. A pan of ice in front of a fan, a wet towel on cool flooring (such as tile), a spritz of water on the paws and stomach are a few ways to cool down a hot dog. Dogs cool from the bottom up, so the wet towel on the floor and cool paws is more effective than water on their back.
- And Cool Cats! While cats are quite good at catering to their own comfort, they can use some help on those very hot days as well. First make sure they have a quiet, shady spot to relax. Younger or agitated cats may exhaust themselves running about on a hot day, so you can encourage them to relax with a safe, cool spot.
- Brush if Off. Brushing out your kitties fur not only helps keep it clean, but keeps the air flowing through it to naturally keep them cool.
- Damp it Down. If you are concerned about your cat getting too hot, you can use a damp towel to help them get cool. The areas that get the hottest are their bellies, paws, armpits, chins and the outside of their ears. Concentrate on those area as your cat allows.
- A Bed of Cool. Another idea is to soak a small kitchen towel with water, then place it in the freezer. Let is get quite cool, then place it on the floor. Don’t force your cat to use it, but if she likes it as a bed, great. If it is too cold at first, it will warm up, so try leaving it out even if you get the brush off at first.
And absolutely never, ever, ever leave an animal in a car in the summer. Sadly, this is something that can never be said enough.
Have you made games or toys for your pets to keep them entertained on hot summer days? We would love to hear about them!
Cats are good at finding cool spots on their own, but they might need some cooling help once in a while.