Most animals can't sweat as well as we do. Overheating, illness, and outbreaks of summer ailments are lurking. How do you keep your pet cool during the summer? 6 cooling tips for your dog but can work for your other pets.
Provide access to cool places
Make sure your pet always has a shady spot and let them find their own cool spot in the house.
For dogs you can also buy special cooling mats, but the quality is very variable, make sure you buy a cooling mat that does not leak easily. Otherwise, you can also make cooling elements by putting a bottle of water in the freezer.
If you go for a walk with your dog, choose a shady outlet. The beach can be a treat for dogs who like to swim, but there is no shade to be found. Look for forests or shady parks with swimming water. Also be careful with asphalt: dark asphalt can get hot very quickly and burn your dog's paws.
Avoid intensive exercise during the day
Dogs suffer from the heat faster than we do, so avoid long and intense walks. Schedule exercise in the early and late hours of the day when it is cooler. Don't let the dog run alongside but pay attention to his body language and let him set his own pace.
Some dogs don't know their own limits well, so you make sure he rests in time. Fetching and running games can only be done at the cool times of the day, or somewhere where there is fresh swimming water. Are you using a dog sitter? Ask your dog sitter to take the heat into account and offer your dog a (mental) challenge but not physical exhaustion.
Make sure your pet drinks enough
That means that fresh drinking water should always be available, so also on the road! Preferably do not use ice cold water, dogs can get nauseous from that. Are you still worried that your pet is not drinking enough? Put a little water through the wet food of your dog or to make it a 'soup'! In this way they absorb enough water.
For dogs, an ice cube is a fun treat/toy! Do wet the ice cube with cold water first so your dog's tongue doesn't get stuck to it.
Comb the coat
Extra brushing is a great way to thin out your dog's or cat's undercoat. This will allow more air into the coat. Keep in mind that short-haired dogs with light coats can also get sunburned! There are special sunscreens for animals for sale, as well as UV clothing for dogs. But always avoid exposing your pet to the sun for a long time anyway.
Pay attention to hygiene
With this warm weather, bacteria and algae grow in abundance. Therefore, pay close attention to hygiene for your pets as well. Make sure your dog doesn't drink from dirty ditches and puddles, they can get diarrhoea from that. Do not leave fresh or wet food outside the refrigerator for too long and clean the food and water bowls extra thoroughly. Change the water regularly to prevent algae growth in the bowls.
Of course, you clean up the excrement of the (babysitting) dog even with this heat. And the litter box could use some extra cleaning in this warm weather.
In the warm months there is also an extra risk of parasites. Check your dog carefully for ticks and keep checking your pet for fleas. Also, the oak processionary caterpillar strikes in summer more often, check your dog extra for tears, swollen lips, and tongue trouble. If in doubt, consult a veterinarian immediately.
Not in the car
NEVER leave your dog alone in the car in warm weather, not even with the windows open or just for a little while. The temperature in the car can rise rapidly, and that can be fatal. If you do have to travel with your dog, turn on the air conditioning, put a cooling mat in the car, make sure there is drinking water and stop regularly for a walk under the trees. Always pay close attention to your dog to make sure he doesn't develop overheating symptoms.