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Keep Your Pet Cool in the Summer Heat

At the end of August it would seem that summer is coming to a close. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to soak up some warm (or even hot) summer days. For many animal lovers, our animal companions are included in our summer activities. But even though we may be enjoying the heat, are they? Here are some simple ways to keep your pet, whether canine, feline, or equine, cool during these hot days.


What You Can Do To Help Your Pet Stay Cool

Dogs

1. Exercise Early or Late in the Day: Exercising your dog early in the morning or late in the evening provides for cooler temperatures and a more comfortable walk.

2. Dog Booties: Summer heat creates hot cement and asphalt. Dogs absorb heat through their paws. A set of dog booties will prevent your canine friend from absorbing that heat from those hot surfaces, keeping them cooler.

3. Keep Paws and Stomach Wet: Dogs absorb most heat through their paws and stomach. Keep these areas wet by spraying them down, allowing them to lay on a wet towel, or better yet, keep a kiddie pool filled with cool water for them to lay in.

4. Allow Your Dog to Dig: Digging is instinctive. Dogs will dig on hot days to stay cool. The dirt below the grass is much cooler than the grass itself, feeling good on the paws and stomach.

5. Go for a Swim: Instead of going for a walk, consider taking a swim with your canine friend. A great way for both of you to keep cool.

6. Water, Water, Water!: Make sure your dog stays hydrated by providing plenty of water to drink.

Cats:

1. Create a Calm Retreat: It is important to keep your cat as calm as possible on hot days. You can do this by creating a retreat where they feel comfortable and safe. This could be as simple as a box with a breathable blanket, placed in a quiet location.

2. Let Your Cat Choose a Cool Spot: Some cats prefer to choose their own cool spot. After all, they would know best. On hot days, cats can often be found in bathtubs or sinks because porcelain stays cooler.

3. Gently Spray Water on Ears, Paws, and Stomach: These are the areas where cats absorb the most heat. Spraying water or taking a damp towel to these areas will cool the blood and reduce their body temperature.

4. Brush Your Cat: Keep your cat well brushed. If your cat has matted hair, this will trap the heat in.

5. Water, Water, Water!: Make sure your cat stays hydrated by providing plenty of water to drink.

Horses:

1. Provide Shade: Make sure your pet has access to plenty of shade no matter what time of the day. This could include a shed or even the shade of trees.

2. Keep the Air Moving: If your horse is in a barn, use fans to keep the air moving.

3. Mist Your Horse with Water: Mist your horse frequently with water. As the water is absorbed, the body cools down.

4. Slow Down Exercise & Work: Exercise or work your horse for shorter periods of time. Better yet, choose doing these activities early in the morning or late in the evening. Always take tack off as soon as you are done and cool your horse’s body off with water.

5. Avoid Sunburn: Use a fly sheet to protect your horse’s body from the sun. Sunscreen may be needed in other areas that are more susceptible to the sun’s rays.

6. Water, Water, Water!: Make sure your horse stays hydrated by providing plenty of water to drink.