9 Tips for Keeping Your Dogs & Cats Cool this Summer

9 Tips for Keeping Your Dogs & Cats Cool this Summer - Photo 1 - Doghaus Blog

The best cure is always prevention – and that rings true for keeping cats and dogs cool during the sweltering summer months. Both cats and dogs can sweat through their foot pads and pant to cool off, but providing proper care in hot and humid weather is the best way to keep them safe from overheating.

So we’ve compiled a number of ways to help your dogs and cats beat the heat this summer – and keep their cool! 😎

1. Prepare Your Pets for the Heat

One of the most important ways to help your dogs and cats stay cool is to regularly groom them so that their coats are free of mats, knots, and debris. A clean, breathable coat means your pets can better regulate their body temperature on their own. 

And if you have a single-coated breed like a Poodle, consider giving them a summer cut. 

At Döghaus, we don’t recommend shaving double-coated breeds, but our groomers can always help you figure out what’s best for you and your dog.

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2. Avoid Excessive Exercise

As much fun as it is to indulge in a game of fetch with our dog or a play a game of chase with your cat, strenuous activities drastically increase the likelihood of your pet overheating during hot weather. Moderate play in water can be cooling for some pets. However, they may already be tired from coping with the heat, and be unable or unwilling to exercise. 

Instead of engaging in physically demanding pastimes with your pets, consider providing Environment Enrichment activities for them!

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3. Adjust Your Schedule

When experiencing an extended period of hot weather, keeping to your regular walking, exercise, and play routines may be hard for your cats and dogs (and you). The easiest solution, particularly for dogs who still need daily exercise and cats who need to let out their playfulness, is to schedule these activities during the cooler times of the days: early morning or late evening. Avoid letting your cat outdoors or going for a walk between the hours of 11AM and 4PM.

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4. Give Them Cooling Meals

On very hot days, giving your cats and dogs chilled meals will help keep their bodies at a lower temperature. Considering keeping their hydrated freeze-dried meals in the fridge before serving, adding some chilled water to their bowl of kibble, or even serving their raw meals slightly frozen.

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And if you’re looking for a fun treat to give your cats or dogs, check out our DIY Summer Pupsicle blog from last year! Iced treats, including Messy Mutts’ freezer safe treat moulds, can ease boredom along with cooling off a hot mess.

5. Always Have Water Available

Since dogs and cats, like humans, cool off by evaporating water from their bodies, they can easily become dehydrated if they can’t replenish the water they’re sweating off. Always keep a bowl of water nearby and let your dogs and cats drink freely on hot days. If they’re comfortable with it, you can add some ice cubes to their water for an extra refreshing treat.

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And if you’re planning on being out of the house with your pets, bring the water with you with Le Chien Blanc’s collapsable bowl, or Messy Mutt’s and Outdoor Dog’s portable water bottle and travel bowl system.

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6. Provide Them With the Proper Attire

If you’re planning on being out with your cat or dog, try fitting them with a cooling vest, like the one offered by Canada Pooch, or a cooling bandana from fouFIT. These ingenious products will cool the surface temperature of your pets while providing enough air circulation for absolute comfort. 

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Cooling vests and collars work just as well if you’re out and about or sitting on the porch and enjoying the day!

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7. Give Them Somewhere Cool to Relax

Cats and dogs will naturally move themselves to cooler areas of the home when hot: under the balcony, in front of the fireplace, in the bathroom, or even in the sink. Let them decide where to relax, because they probably know where to find the best spot to keep cool.

But if your pets are struggling to find a place to cool off in comfort, consider giving them a cooling bed, like K&H’s Coolin’ Pet Pad

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8. Keep Them Out of the Sun

This seems simple enough, but is nevertheless important: direct exposure to the sun will easily overheat your dogs and cats, as will walking on hot surfaces like sidewalks. A good way to measure whether or not the ground is safe enough for your dog or cat to walk on is to place your hand on it: if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws. 

So keep your pets in shaded or indoor areas whenever possible. This, unfortunately, includes leaving them at home when you would normally bring them with you on outings. 

And never leave your cats or dogs in a hot car!

9. Keep an Eye on Them

Every dog and cat will react to heat differently. Brachycephalic cats and dogs, along with seniors, puppies, and those will chronic illnesses, are more susceptible to the heat. So as the person who knows and loves them best, trust your gut when it comes to recognizing how they’re coping.

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Stay up-to-date on safety precautions and be able to recognize signs that your cat or dog may be overheating or experiencing heatstroke.

These signs include:

  • bright or dark red tongue and gums
  • heavy or excessive panting
  • excessive drinking rapid heart beat
  • weakness or tremors lack of coordination
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea 
  • increased body temperature

And if you notice any signs of heatstroke, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinary professional.

In the meantime, you can:

  • immediately remove them from hot or sunny areas, preferably to cool, but not cold, areas 
  • place cool, wet towels on their head, neck, stomach, and beneath their front and back legs
  • if possible, give them a cool, but not cold, sprinkling of water
  • apply rubbing alcohol to their paw pads to release heat

Stay safe, healthy, and happy, and think cool thoughts!

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For every three (3) friends that you refer to our grooming service, your dog will receive one (1) free grooming session! 

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