Keep Your Pets Cool in the Heat

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 17th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Tips & Advice

Humans aren't the only ones who swelter during the hot summer. Pets can also suffer from heat-related illnesses. Read on to find out how to keep your pet safe on the hottest days.

Heat Can Hurt Pets, Too

Imagine wearing a fur coat on a 90 degree day. Now imagine that you don't sweat through your skin. Just think how hot and uncomfortable you'd feel. That's how your dog or cat feels when the mercury rises. Here are some ways that you can keep your pet cool in the heat.
Pets can suffer from the same heat-related illnesses that humans can experience including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Make sure your pet stays cool during this hot summer and be aware of the danger signs.
The most important tip is never leave your dog inside your parked car on a hot day. Temperatures inside a car can rise to dangerous levels in just a few minutes. Take your dog home before stopping at the store or running another errand.

Keep Them Inside and Away From the Sun

On the hottest days, bring your pets inside and keep them there. Don't leave dogs tied in the backyard for the whole day. If you let your dog out into the backyard, be sure there's a shady spot for him to rest.
Allow your pets into an air conditioned room to stay cool. Or let them go down into the basement. My dog, Casey, likes to lie on the cement floor of the basement on hot days. This helps to cool his body temperature.
This advice also applies to cats. Don't let them roam around the neighborhood on the hottest days. Let them hang out in your basement or air conditioned room.

Cool Pets With Water and Ice

Give your pets more water than usual on hot days. Set out an extra bowl of water. Put an ice cube or two into their water bowls.
Cats hate getting wet but many dogs love it. Spray your dog with a hose. Or let him splash around in a kiddie pool. Don't let him into your backyard swimming pool unless you're absolutely sure your dog can swim. Remember, dogs can drown so be careful.

Exercise Your Dog Carefully

Dogs still need exercise even on the hottest days. Don't take him for a morning walk any later than 8:30 a.m. If he can hold out, take him for the evening walk at 7 p.m. or later. Or walk your dog after dark. It may still be hot and humid out but at least you won't have to worry about the sun beating down on you and your pet.
This is not the time of year to take your dog for longer walks. In fact, you may want to shorten your walks when the temperature rises. So if you usually take your dog for a mile, you may want to cut back to three-quarters of a mile.

Signs of Heat Illnesses in Pets

Watch out for heavy panting, glazed eyes, excessive thirst and a rapid heartbeat. Your pet may also have difficulty breathing, may vomit, have a seizure or fall unconscious. Look at the color of your pet's tongue. If his tongue is dark red or purple, he may have a heat-related illness. All of these are the danger signs of a heat-related illness, according to the National Humane Society.

How to Treat Heat Illnesses in Pets

If you notice any of the above signs, immediately move your pet to a shady spot or an air conditioned room. Apply ice pads or cool, wet cloths to your pet's head, neck and chest. Give him small sips of water or ice cubes to lick. Take him to a veterinarian immediately.
Remember, keep your pet out of cars and inside air conditioned rooms or basements. Give them extra water and hose them down or let them splash in kiddie pools. Be careful when exercising them. If you follow these tips, you will indeed keep your pets cool in the heat.

This article used some information from the National Humane Society
Here is an article I wrote about my experience with heat exhaustion
Here is one I wrote about running in the heat


Cat, Cats, Dog, Dog Tips, Dogs, Dogs As Pets, Pet, Pet Care, Pet Health, Pets, Pets Animals, Pets Friends

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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author avatar Retired
18th Jul 2013 (#)

Thank you for a very useful article given the heat we have here in the UK. I had been concerned about my kitty.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
18th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks, Jackalyn. I hope you and your kitty can stay cool during this brutally hot summer.

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
18th Jul 2013 (#)

Important points.Should not go unread.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
18th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks, Randhir.

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author avatar Carol
18th Jul 2013 (#)

Very wise article, my poor dog struggles in the heat

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author avatar Delicia Powers
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Well done, thanks Connie...

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author avatar spgreaney
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Very useful information for any pet owner, especially in this hot weather.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks so much, spgreaney. It's important to protect our furry friends in hot weather.

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