When temperatures soar, we humans reach for something cold to help us chill out. Make sure you treat your furry friends to something cool as well. Unless your pets live 24/7 in air-conditioned bliss, the heat is on for them as well, and they’ll appreciate some chilly relief. If you turn the thermostat higher during the day while you’re away, make sure to provide heat relief for your at-home pets.
- Make sure your pet has a cool spot to hang out. Cats will often find a spot right near a fan, or they’ll curl up in a bathroom sink. Dogs will tend to find a cool spot on the floor, or near some moving air. Make sure they can find a cool spot.
- During serious heat blasts, consider freezing some blue ice then wrapping it and placing it under your cat’s favorite spot or blanket. Just watch the first time to be sure your pet won’t chew on the ice. (you can do this for dogs as well, but they are far more likely to chew)
- If it’s really warm, put ice cubes in Fido and Fluffy’s water dishes to help keep things cool and refreshing. If it’s really warm, consider freezing some sodium-free organic broth in a small bowl for your pet to lick and enjoy.
- Pet popsicle treats – while milk isn’t good for Fluffy, or Fido, really, yogurt is. Mix a favorite treat into unflavored, unsweetened organic yogurt and freeze in ice cube trays. Place a cube in your pet’s food bowl for a cooling treat.
- Take a cue from the zoo and freeze favorite treats into ice cubes made from water or sodium-free organic broth. Your pet will get some playtime and a fun treat all while keeping cool. You can do this for indoor cats if you don’t mind the mess and have a large, mopable floor.
- Stuff Fido’s favorite treat-holding chew toy with a mixture of peanut butter and yogurt, then pop it in the freezer until everything sets. Be prepared to hose your pal off, because this one’s gonna get messy!
- Fill a sturdy kiddie pool with water and let Fido do some splashing around. Bonus cool points: Drop in a large block of ice and let your furry friend play. Bring towels!
- If you have outdoor cats, make sure they have a shady spot to retreat to when it’s extra hot out, and give them plenty of fresh water.
- Accept the fact that Fido might dig a hole. Outdoors, dogs will dig a hole to have someplace cooler to lie down. Either provide your pooch with a cool spot to discourage digging, or accept the hole that he digs for himself.
- If you have to take your dog for a walk, try to avoid concrete and asphalt during the heat of the day. If the surfaces are hot enough to burn, slip some booties over your pooch’s feet for the walk to help protect against burned and blistered pads.
- Take walks early in the morning or later in the evening, when the sun isn’t so brutal. It’s kinder to you and your pet.
- Ask your vet about grooming – with some breeds, shaving can be a good thing in summer, but it can raise the risk of sunburn. If shaving isn’t the right answer, consider a good trim, and always brush your pet daily to help remove excess fur.
- Last but not least, never, ever, ever leave your furry friend in an unattended car on a hot day. When temperatures soar, the inside of a car is like an oven and it can literally kill your pet.
In short, remember, your pets are just like you – they get hot and uncomfortable when temperatures soar, and extreme heat can be dangerous for them. Take steps to keep your pet cool and you’ll both have a happy summer.