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Heat: 10 Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool

Heat 10 Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool 1

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To allow your pet to exercise, nothing beats going for walks! But choose your timing wisely: go out during the coolest hours (early morning or evening) to avoid putting your pet at risk. Remember to walk in the shade and avoid concrete areas, as the temperature of the pavement can reach up to 122°F on the ground, which can severely burn your dog’s paw pads.

In general, during heatwaves, avoid unnecessary exercise for your pet: no jogging in scorching heat!

2. Prepare your home

To best insulate your home and keep it cool, remember to close your shutters and use a fan. You can use air conditioning, but in moderation. Otherwise, it can cause respiratory problems. Another tip is to leave rooms with tiled floors open: your pets will naturally choose to lie down on them.

3. Create cool spots

To allow your pet to cool down on their own, “the trick is to place a damp towel on a clothesline: your pet will naturally position themselves under this humid microclimate!” reveals the veterinarian. You can also leave damp towels near their bed or wrap ice packs in a towel.

Heat 10 Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool

4. Water at will!

Just like us, animals need to stay hydrated! It is recommended to opt for a water fountain: “Water fountains that constantly provide filtered and cool water will encourage your pet to drink.” If not, make sure to regularly refill their water bowl with fresh water, but not ice-cold as it could cause a thermal shock! To encourage your cat to drink, you can also flavor their water bowl with tuna juice.

5. Cool the extremities!

Dogs and cats have difficulty dissipating heat. Therefore, you can lower their body temperature by focusing on cooling their head and paws. How? Place a wet towel on their head or all over their fur for cats. After a walk, a dog will also appreciate having their paw pads cooled down: you can soak compresses in water and place them on their paw pads. Immediate relief guaranteed!

If your pet is not too fearful, a misting spray will also do the trick. “If your cat is scared, spray the mist on your hand and then apply it to their fur,” she advises.

6. Keep their coat well-ventilated

“Contrary to popular belief, you should not shave your pet in the summer! The fur protects them from UV rays, dehydration, and helps with thermoregulation,” she explains. However, feel free to brush your pet’s fur daily to aerate it and remove any dead hair that may be weighing them down.

Heat 10 Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool

7. Bath time and beyond…

If you have the opportunity, take your dog near a body of water (lake, spring, beach, private pool…) where dogs are allowed (check the map of beaches that allow pets). “Dogs will also have fun if you wet them with a simple garden hose.”

8. Rehydrating meals

You may have noticed that dog and cat kibble is dry and dehydrating. They tend to make your pet thirsty, causing them to drink a lot of water. During a heatwave, you can avoid unnecessarily dehydrating your pet by moistening their kibble! You can also add water-rich foods such as zucchini, cucumbers, or carrots.

9. On the go!

“During travel, place a damp towel on your pet’s carrier or an ice pack under their bed.” Don’t overuse the air conditioning: if it’s too cold, it can cause respiratory problems, rhinitis, or even an ear infection. “Pay particular attention to young animals and older ones who are more sensitive to temperature changes.”

Finally, never leave your pet locked in a car. We remind you that an animal can die within minutes in a car left in direct sunlight. In fact, the temperature inside the car can reach and exceed 104°F in less than 10 minutes, which can be fatal for the animal trapped inside.

10. Heatstroke: the right reflexes

If your pet is panting, has red eyes, and is breathing rapidly, they are experiencing heatstroke. You must cool them down as soon as possible to prevent cerebral edema. “Wrap your pet’s body in a wet towel and seek emergency veterinary care.”

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”