When the weather heats up, it's crucial we take care of the most vulnerable members of our family. Our pets are extremely susceptible to heat stress, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so it is important we help them to keep cool. There are a number of things you can do to prevent your pet from suffering from heat related illnesses, including ensuring easy access to water and shade, and not exercising in the hottest part of the day. But how else can you help keep your pet cool? With a little bit of planning and creative thinking, and with our top tips for how to keep your dog cool in summer, you'll be breezing through the hot summer months without a worry.
Water, water, water
Fill extra bowls of water and place them in shady areas, just in case one is accidentally knocked over so as your pup has others to drink from. Placing ice cubes in their water bowls is also a great way to help keep their water cool.
During hot days our pets love to find a cool place to lay sprawled out, under bushes or even on the bathroom tiles. But imagine if our pets could get the same effect from their bed! Introducing cooling mats: with a special cooling gel inner lining, the surface of the mat will feel cold even on the hottest of days. These mats can be placed anywhere in the house and even outside.
Cooling mats can be brought from pet supply stores, and some supermarkets and department stores (Source: Aldi)
Even a ceramic tile or baking tray cooled in the fridge or freezer for your pet to lie on works as a cooling mat. Or a bottle full of water frozen is a great for your pets, especially small pets like birds and guinea pigs, to lean against.
Who doesn't love an icy pole? Just like us our doggos love a pupsicle! A great way to keep your pooch cool and keep them entertained, they are also easy to make. All you need is a container or even an ice cube tray or muffin tin, water, and treats, then freeze. There are many recipes you can choose from, or you can get creative in the kitchen and find out what your pet likes the best!
This is one of our favourite easy recipes. For the full instructions visit our Dog Ice Blocks blog.
Remember how much fun you had as a kid playing in paddling pools? Why not treat your pet with their very own paddling pool! All you need is a clam shell or inflatable pool for your dog to wade in. Avoid filling it up too much unless someone can supervise as not all dogs know how to swim. It only needs to be deep enough for your pup to wet their paws and belly, and to lie in.
Make it a game
Make keeping cool a game! A favourite idea is to set up a trail of treats, or dry dog food, leading to a location of a cooling mat or wet towel. Then another trail of treats leading to the next location of a pupsicle. You can continue this trail around the house or backyard. It is sure to keep your pup entertained for hours. Watch below for how simple it is, and view the full instructions on our Games for Keeping Dogs Cool in Summer blog.
How about a home-made sprinkler? A great inexpensive and easy way for your pup to enjoy water play. To see how easy it is, watch below or view the full instructions on our Dogs and Sprinklers blog.
Brushing your pet often will help keep them cool, as it will remove any loose hair. If left, the loose hair will add to the heat of your pet's coat.
If your pet has long fur consider clipping. However, keep in mind pets with white or light-coloured fur have pale skin which can be easily sunburned. Talk to your vet about whether clipping is right for your pet.
Remember, play it safe and keep cool in warm weather.