Summer is upon us, and many parts of the country have warmed to traditional summertime temperatures. While you and your family are having fun lounging by the pool, hanging out at the lake, or staying cool indoors, your furry friend may not have the same luxury. Of course, you can always treat your pets like children, but that isn’t practical for everyone.
Heat can be especially dangerous for dogs and older pets, so we’ve put together some tips for how to help your furbaby beat the heat.
Practice Basic Safety
When it comes to taking care of your pets during the summer heat, use common sense more than anything. You would never leave a child in a hot vehicle, barefoot on the pavement, or out in the heat of the day, so don’t do those things with your pets either! If you’re ever in doubt about a pet’s safety in the heat, it’s always best to be proactive about them rather than reactive.
It may sound silly, but putting yourself in your pet’s
shoes paws, is probably one of the best things you can do to better empathize with their circumstances. If you wouldn’t do it yourself (i.e. walk on hot pavement, lay out in the burning afternoon sun, etc.) then don’t subject your pet to those conditions either.
Limit Exercise During Heat
One way to easily exhaust your pet is to take them on a long walk or play during the heat of the day. While dogs especially need additional exercise and attention to maintain their health, avoid doing so in the heat. Instead, treat your dog to the cooler temperatures in the morning hours or wait until near sundown for any outdoor exercise.
Morning walks and activities pretty well eliminate the problems that come with heat-induced illnesses in your pets, while afternoon activities must be monitored more. If you choose to walk your dog in the evenings, make sure you aren’t exposing their paws to hot pavement or surfaces that can cause them harm. Even when the air temperature drops, ground temperatures can remain elevated for hours past peak sunlight.
Keep an Eye on the Humidity
Humidity can be dangerous for pets. Dogs, unlike humans, cool themselves differently. While we sweat and use the evaporative cooling of perspiration on our skin, dogs use their lungs as evaporative cooling. Needless to say, if the humidity is higher, both of us struggle to cool off quickly enough. That said, avoid exercising your pet or leaving them outdoors for extended periods on humid days.
Depending on what part of the country you live in, humidity may be about as normal as anything, but if you’re in parts of the country that experience seasonal humidity or monsoon-like weather then it may be best to keep your pets indoors or pick parts of the day when humidity is at its lowest. Typically, humidity lowers throughout the evening before collecting again in the morning.
Provide Shade and Water
Many pets will do quite well outdoors even in hot conditions, but it’s up to you to do your part to provide plenty of shade and fresh, clean, and cool drinking water if you must leave your pets outside. If there is any way to provide additional airflow to your pets on especially stagnant days, then this could help cool them slightly.
Naturally, if the weather is especially warm, then you’ll likely want to keep your pets indoors if at all possible. If your furbaby needs a little more shelter, then get in touch with Tidewater Mortgage Services, Inc. and find out how you can give them the pet palace they’ve always wanted!