PRODUCTION

Keeping Pets Cool During the Dog Days of Summer and Year-Round


June 24, 2021

Dog With Sunglasses

Do your pets love outdoor fun? Do you live in an area with a warm temperate climate? Are you worried about your pet’s ability to stay cool during the warmer months?

Keeping your pets cool all year-round is completely possible with the right precautions and cooling strategies. To keep your pets cool, we have created a pet owner’s guide to handling the heat.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

It may seem like common sense but prevention is really the best way to protect your pets, and it is much easier than treating heat stroke and injury.

It is not enough to run fans continuously or give them plenty of water. Dogs and cats control their body temperature much differently than us. They do not have as many sweat glands. The ones they do are mainly found in their paw pads.

  • Dogs cool off by panting, a form of evaporative cooling which releases moisture from the mouth and lungs. They also cool off through blood vessel dilation in the ears and face to bring the hot blood as close to the surface of the skin
  • Cats can regulate their temperature by seeking shade and relaxing to avoid overheating. They also lick their fur, another form of evaporative cooling.

Body temperatures above 101.5º F and 105º F put your pet’s risk for heat stroke and life threatening injury on red alert.

Hot Pavement and Paw Pad Burns

While you can comfortably walk around unfazed by the blazing hot pavement, your dog or cat may experience discomfort from direct heat contact.

When outside temperatures are in the mid to high 70s, the sun can heat the pavement to temperatures over 120º F. The hot pavement can burn your poor pet’s paws within 35 seconds.

Since dogs and cats sweat through their paws, keeping their main form of temperature control is very important.

It is not just summer heat you should be worrying about. Most of the country has relatively warm weather all year round, making it important to watch out for your pet’s paws during every season.

When your pet must inevitably go outside, there are ways you can protect their sensitive feet.

  • Protective balms can create a breathable and dense barrier against the heat. They are made of natural and non-toxic waxes that can provide protection against extreme temperature, icy and hot surfaces, snow, hard pavement, and sandy beaches.
  • All-weather insulating dog boots can protect your pet’s paws from hot, freezing, or rough terrain.

Hiking in Hot Weather

Man Running With Dog

If you love to hike with your pooch, the hot weather can make it difficult. Veterinarians recommend going hiking earlier in the morning (7 a.m.), when it is cooler, instead of waiting for a late evening run.

If possible, walk along paths near a water source so your furry friend can take a dip to cool off. If swimming is not their thing, you can splash some cool water on their paw pads and bellies.

Never Leave Your Pet Unsupervised In a Parked Car

Even if you have the best intentions and leave your air conditioning running, it is never a good idea to leave your pets unsupervised in your vehicle, even if you crack a window or park in the shade.

The first 10 minutes can increase the temperature by almost 20º F and over 40º F higher than the outside temperature over the course of one hour.

Many states and local governments have strict laws about leaving animals unattended in a motor vehicle under dangerous conditions.

Grooming for Better Temperature Control

Cat Getting Brushed

Did you know that by keeping your pets well-groomed, you can help them better insulate and keep cool?

Just because we like to wear less clothes during the summer, does not mean your pet needs less hair. Generally, veterinarians advise against completely shaving your pet during the hot months, with some exceptions.

Dogs with thick coats can be more prone to heat stress. If you decide to give them a haircut, leave at least an inch of hair to protect them from sunburns. Cats are better at keeping cool during the hot months but still need some hair for sun protection.

Did you know that Wilco offers Pet Grooming Services? Learn more here.

It can help to maintain their coats clean and de-tangled. A de-shedding tool can help keep your dog’s undercoat in good shape and your cat’s coat tangle-free.

Safari Double Row Dog Undercoat Rake

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Safari Dog De-Matting Comb

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Safari Pin & Bristle Combo Dog Brush, Large

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Monitoring their Play During Hot Weather

Boy Playing With Dog

Just like you, your pup may love to sunbathe and get their dose of vitamin D, which helps regulate phosphate and calcium minerals in their body for healthy and strong bones, muscles, and nerves.

But, too much sun can be bad for your pet. When they are playing outside, take note of how long they have been out. Avoid letting them play and exercise during the hottest parts of the day, especially in areas where temperatures regularly reach above 80º F.

In warmer climates, veterinarians recommend keeping your pets inside from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for when they need to take restroom breaks (no longer than 10 minutes).

Brachycephalic (short-headed) animals such as English and French bulldogs, pugs, pekingese, and Boston terriers should stay inside from 9 am to 6:30 p.m. They have a harder time breathing than other breeds.

If they love to sunbathe during the summer months, consider buying them a cooling mat.

K & H Coolin' Pet Bed

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Keep Your Pet Cool During Playtime

Dog and Cat Playing in Grass

Whether your pet is having fun indoors or outdoors, it is important to ensure they do not show any signs of heat stress or overheating. Take regular breaks in the shade and provide your pets with plenty of fresh water during playtime.

K & H Coolin' Bowl, 96 oz.

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

K & H Pet Cot Canopy, Tan

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

If you are out and about for an extended period of time, bring along a water bowl and backpack cooler stocked with water and frozen treats such as watermelon, banana, peanut butter, and other “pupsicles” like these NaturVet Pooch Pops full of electrolytes to help replenish your dog’s vital minerals.

NaturVet Pooch Pops

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cooling vests can also help. They are activated by soaking them in water, wringing them out, and putting them on your dog. Its outer layer can reflect heat and solar radiation while the inside liner keeps your dog’s fur cool.

However, these vests can thaw out quickly and only work when they are wet. If they are not cooling your pets, they are adding an extra layer that can actually make them hotter. Make sure to bring along enough water for your pet and to keep the vest wet.

One of the best ways to keep your pets cool during the summer is to engage in some water activities. Just like kids, they love running through sprinklers, splashing around in a kiddie pool with cool water, and hitting the beach.

Round Wading Pool, 4 ft.

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

If you head to the beach, monitor your pets for salt intoxication which can cause dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting. Also, make sure they do not eat a lot of sand, which can cause intestinal blockage, vomiting, appetite loss, fatigue, and even bacterial infections.

When indoors, your pet can stay cool in an air conditioned space. If you do not have AC, a bladeless fan can work, too, all while keeping your pet’s paws and hair from getting caught in the spinning blades. Make sure your pet has multiple water bowls to encourage hydration. You can keep the water cooled with some ice cubes.

Edenpure Bladeless Fan

Not available online.

{{storeQuantity}} in stock in {{wg.store.city}}

Limited stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Out of stock in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Not carried in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

Cannot be sold in {{wg.store.city}} Check nearby stores

How to Handle Heat Stroke

Keeping Pets Cool in Summer

Despite all of our best efforts as responsible pet owners, the brutal heat can still become too unbearable and cause heat injury in a pet.

During the hottest days of summer, do not be surprised to see your pets experience mild heat stress, especially after running around the yard. All they need is a bit of shade, water, and rest to cool down.

Signs of Heatstroke

Do not underestimate the hot weather. Always look for signs of severe heat exhaustion including:

  • Excessive panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Collapse
  • Redness of the mouth and tongue

Treatment

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. During the time it takes to receive proper medical attention, you should be trying to cool them down. The longer they stay overheated, the more difficult it can be for recovery.

Seek shade and go indoors if you can. Gradually cool them down with cool water, not cold water. You can apply ice packs or cold towels to your dog’s head, neck, and chest or between your cat’s legs.

Avoid spraying your dog or cat with the garden hose since the water inside can reach boiling temperatures in the hot months.

On your way to the vet, turn up the car’s air conditioning and bring some cool water and a wet towel to wrap your pet. Also, place rubbing alcohol on the pet’s paws. The rubbing alcohol can help draw out some heat due to its quick evaporative properties.

Above all, keep your emergency veterinarian’s contact information readily available just in case something ever happens.

Shop Wilco for Pet Cooling Products

Keeping your pet cool, healthy, and happy is possible. Visit Wilco farm stores for a variety of pet products and heat-beating solutions to make this season one to remember.

Category
Author
Tags