By Savannah Owens
Many people consider July to be the hottest time of summer, but a recent study from Forbes stated that August is the hottest month in East Texas. As those temperatures reach triple digits its important for you and your dog to practice ways to not overheat.
Here are 10 tips to help your pets stay cool in the heat of the summer:
1. Ice Water-One of the easiest ways to cool your pet is to add lots of ice to their water dish. The ice will slowly melt, keeping the dish filled with cold water all day-Hydration is just as important for dogs as people!
2. Beat the Heat-Bring your pets indoors during the hottest parts of the day, and leave a “cool” area for them to hang out (Kitchen/ laundry room tile floors are nice and cool for your dog to lay on). Or set out an ice pack or wet towel for them to lay on.
3. Fans-When inside, leave a fan or AC on so they can stay cool. Fans help circulate the air, so if your dog or cat hangs out in one area of your house, you want that area to remain cool. And remember heat rises-so if your pet likes to sleep upstairs, providing a fan can keep them cool in the night too.
4. Water Party-consider setting up a hard plastic baby pool for your dog to swim in during the morning or evenings when it’s not so hot to be outside, or set up a sprinkler/mister and let your dog enjoy the cool water. Kids and pets can enjoy this one!
5. Find the Shade– String up a tarp or create a nice cool area in some trees where your dog can rest out of the sun’s rays. Don’t assume their dog house is cool enough-many dog houses actually reflect heat and could increase your dog’s potential for heat stroke. Trees or Tarps are better shade structures in the summer because they allow for breezes and wind to circulate and cool the air.
6. Brush don’t Shave– A common misconception is that your pet’s fur can cause them to overheat. Their fur actually helps regulate their temperature and keep them from getting a sunburn. Instead “brush them regularly” to remove any undercoat that they’re shedding from the winter months.
7. No Car Rides-Leaving a pet in the car is dangerous, even if it’s a short period of time. One expert explained “On an 85-degree day, it can reach 102 F within 10 minutes. And that’s with a window cracked. After 30 minutes, it could be up to 120.” That’s especially dangerous for people and their pets! Leave your pet at home unless you’re going somewhere your dog is invited too.
8. Walk Wisely-Swap your afternoon walks, to morning or night when it’s not too hot outside. Make sure you pack a water bottle and pet bowl so you both can stay hydrated!
9. Dog boots– A little silly, I know, but hot pavement can burn your dog’s feet. Experts say “If you put the back of your hand against the hot surface for 5 to 7 seconds, and it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.” Dog shoes or walking in grassy areas can help keep your pets feet from hurting.
10. Can the Food–Another expert recommended swapping “a portion of their regular diet with canned food”. This adds nutrients and more water into your pet’s diet, so they can stay hydrated!
Use these tips to keep your pets cool as the heat continues to rise!