August is “Keep Your Pet Cool ” month! That idea of staying cool sounds fabulous to my tribe and me since we all struggle with the heat this time of year. We much prefer the Fall. 🙂 With my furry friends in mind, I researched some ideas for keeping your pet cool that are easy and fun.
Add Some Water Play To Their Day.
A small child pool can make for an easy inexpensive play area. I would recommend the sturdy molded plastic pool not the inflatable pool. A quick bite and your pool time is one and done. Fill the pool with a few inches of water (amount depends on the size of your dog) add some fun dog toys and voila – pool party! Just as with kids, never leave your dog unsupervised in a pool, especially if they are a puppy, a senior or unsure of water.
Another easy way to add water is a simple lawn sprinkler. Some pups enjoy racing around and biting at the water as it sprays out. Sprinklers that move are usually a big hit with dogs that like this type of play.
Cooling Pad, Cooling Collars and Vests.
Cooling mats or cooling pad are an awesome way to help your pet stay comfortable inside or outside. They are simple thin pads that can be put on a dog bed, in a kennel, or just out on the porch. The pad brings the air temperature down about 5 degrees, give or take, helping your pet stay cooler. There are sizes and styles to fit every dog size and owner preference. Some pads need refrigerated, some use electricity, and some are pressure activated by your pet. We purchased one this summer and for the most part it is working well. My Chihuahuas were a bit hesitant to use it at first but they are starting to enjoy it now that they have decided it won’t eat them 🙂 .
Cooling collars and cooling vests are great if you take your pup out hiking or even just for a neighborhood walk. Dogs don’t sweat like people. They cool themselves by panting. Cooling vests or collars help to keep your pets body temperature down making it easier for them to cool themselves. The vest act like an evaporative cooler, moving your pup’s body heat out and away. The collars are similar to you placing a wet cloth on the back of your neck to cool you down. Please be aware that these products can help relieve the heat for your dog but you still need to watchful for any signs of heat stroke when your dog is out and about.
Always Provide Reliable Shade.
Trees are fabulous and can usually be found in your yard, at a park, out camping, you get the picture. This kind of shade is great but always the most reliable. The best shade is a type of solid structure such as a porch cover, dog house, portable sun shades and canopies. If these structures can be placed in an area that is covered with trees – BooYa Baby!!!!
Cool Fresh Water.
You can never go wrong with cool fresh water. Always make sure that your pup has access to water inside and outside that is changed at least daily. When outside keep the bowl in a reliable shaded area that your dog can easily reach. If you take your pup out for a walk or hike remember to take plenty of water for both yourself and your dog. You will both need to stay hydrated when out in the heat. Collapsible water bowls and special dog water bottles make it easier to get your pup to drink.
Who doesn’t love frozen treats when the heat is blasting outside? This excitement for frozen concoctions applies to your pup as well. Chicken stock, a bag of peas and carrots a flexible bowl are the making of a quick and easy doggy treat. Just pour the chicken stock into the bowl add the veggies and place in freezer until solid. Take your ice mold out of the freezer, release it from the bowl and give it to your pet outside to enjoy. How much chicken stock and veggies you use is up to you and the size of your dog. My guys are little so I only fill a bowl about an inch deep. You can also use a smaller container like a muffin tin to make a number of smaller treats. That way you can have plenty on hand for later. You can also blend together some plain yogurt and fresh strawberries, freeze solid in a container or fun mold. Both of these are healthy tasty cool treats that your furry friend will enjoy.
These ideas are a way to help keep your pets cool and comfortable during the hot summer days. Please remember that it is always important for you to watch your pet when you are out and about in the heat. Check the sidewalks and pavement by placing the back of your hand on the ground for 5 to 7 seconds. If its too hot for your hand its too hot for your pet’s feet. The time between late morning and mid-afternoon is usually the hottest part of the day in most parts of the country. If you can avoid going out during these times, it is best for you and your pet. Your pet is NEVER safe in your car during summer. The temperature inside your car, even with the windows open, is hot enough to suffocate your dog. Just leave them at home safe and sound. If you do suspect that your dog may be suffering from heatstroke take them to your veterinarian ASAP.