We’ve already shared some tips on how you can stay cool, but what about your pets? The fur babies need special attention as well, as they may be just as hot and uncomfortable as you, but can’t express it. We found some cool tips from PetMD and the Humane Society of the United States to help you. These are primarily focused on cats and dogs.
- Monitor them for signs of heat exhaustion – Pets, particularly dogs, which tend to be active, can become overheated during the summer months. According to PetMD, there are two major reasons for this: hyperthermia (being trapped in an environment like a car or the beach on a hot day that overwhelms their ability to cool themselves) and compromised upper respiratory systems – bulldogs and other animals with an acquired condition like paralysis of the larynx have more difficulty removing heat in their bodies through panting. Symptoms to look out for include excessive panting or labored breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling and mild weakness, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
- Keep them well hydrated – In addition to overheating, pets can get dehydrated quickly, so ensure that they have plenty of fresh, clean water available.
- Keep them out of the sun – Let them stay indoors as much as possible (on the verandah or carport, if you don’t want them inside the house). It’s still important for your dog to get some exercise in, so take him for walks or playtime in the early morning or in the evening.
- Be careful with trimming – The layers of your pet’s coat help to protect them from overheating and sunburn. It’s fine to trim long hair for cooling purposes, but don’t take off everything. Brushing its coat to help remove loose fur can also prevent overheating.
- Give your dog a bath – There are water restrictions in place currently, but you can give your dog a quick soak using a basin.
- Be mindful of certain breeds – If your pet has a flat-shaped face – like Pugs, Pekingese, Boston terriers and Persian cats, it cannot pant as effectively and are more susceptible to heat stroke. Be especially careful with breeds like these in hot weather and keep plenty of water on hand.