Cool Ideas for Hot Pets: Creative Ways to Beat the Heat
When the sun is blazing and the temperature is soaring, it's important to keep our furry friends cool and comfortable. While providing shade and more water are the basics, why not add some creativity to help beat the heat?
Make a Frozen Treat for Your Furry Friend
Fill a Kong or a similar toy with a mixture of wet pet food or peanut butter and freeze it. It'll provide both a refreshing treat and a stimulating challenge for your pet. Create fruit-filled popsicles by blending pet-friendly fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries with water. Pour the mixture into molds or ice cube trays or spread it onto a lick pad to make a refreshing and nutritious treat for hot days!
Soak a bandana in water, wring out the excess, and tie it around your pet's neck. The evaporating water will help keep them cool while adding a fashionable touch to their summer ensemble. Try investing in a cooling mat or bed specifically designed to lower your pet's body temperature. These mats use cooling gel technology or water-absorbent materials to provide a cool surface for lounging.
Turn Your Backyard into a Pet-Friendly Water Park
Set up a sprinkler and let your pets frolic in the refreshing spray. Many pets enjoy chasing the water streams or simply cooling off by lying down nearby. Look into investing in a small, shallow kiddie pool and fill it with water for your pets to splash around in. Supervise their playtime and make it even more exciting by tossing in floating toys or treats for them to retrieve. Remember: make sure the water is a comfortable temperature. If the water is too cold for you, it’s too cold for your dog. Anything below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is not recommended for dogs to play in.
Note: If your summer plans include a day at the ocean, river, or lake with your dog, please be mindful of pet water safety. Before letting your dog jump into any open water, check online or in the surrounding area for notices about bacteria, algae, or currents that could cause major harm to your pet. Always travel with you a separate bottle and travel bowl for your pup to ensure they don’t drink from open water or puddles.
Create a Cool Zone
Arrange a cozy nook with soft bedding in a cool, shaded corner of your home. It could be under a table or in a secluded spot where your pet can relax and escape the heat. Or set up a fan in a pet-friendly area to improve air circulation and create a cooling breeze. Make sure it's safe and secure, keeping cords out of reach.
Cooling Pets Off Safely
Dogs regulate their body temperature differently than humans, making understanding their unique needs on hot days crucial. Unlike humans who cool down primarily through sweat, dogs have sweat glands in their paws, but their primary cooling mechanism is panting. Panting works by circulating cool air into their body, lowering their temperature, and moving oxygen through the bloodstream.
It’s important to never try to drastically lower your dog's temperature. Ice baths and encouraging them to drink very cold water can send their bodies into shock.
Hot weather doesn't have to put a damper on your pet's fun. With these creative ideas to help cool your dog or cat off, you can keep them comfortable throughout the summer. Let the summer adventures begin and may your pets stay cool and happy all season long!
Keep Your Pets Safe, Know The Signs of Heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats:
Heatstroke can be fatal if not treated quickly. Signs of heatstroke include:
- Excessive drooling
- Warm and dry skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Staring or anxious expressions
- Uncoordinated movements or collapse
What should you do if they exhibit signs?
Owners who suspect their pet may be experiencing heatstroke should call their regular veterinarian or DoveLewis immediately at 503-228-7281. In the meantime, you can:
- Lower your pet’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the pet’s body (the tips and back of the ears, foot pads, belly, and inner thighs). Do NOT use ice or extremely cold water because that can worsen the problem.
- Use a fan to help cool the animal. Even if the pet seems to cool down, it’s still imperative to visit a veterinarian immediately, as temperatures often spike again or cool below a safe, normal temperature.
Please note: Avoid completely immersing a pet in water, since heat cannot leave the body as effectively in this situation, and extreme changes in body temperature are dangerous to the pet’s health.
Do you have urban farm animals – chickens, rabbits, goats, or sheep?
It's the law: Good Samaritans can break car windows to rescue animals and children
A law went into effect (HB 2732) that allows people to break into a car to save an unattended animal or child who appears to be in imminent danger. In 95-degree weather, the inside of a car can reach 114 degrees in less than 10 minutes and 129 degrees in 30 minutes. An animal or child in this situation could suffer heatstroke, which can be fatal, in just minutes. Cracking windows and parking in the shade does not help in warmer weather. Good Samaritans who choose to rescue an animal or child must call law enforcement prior to breaking in and must stay near the car with the animal or child until the police arrive at the scene.