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Beating the Summer Heat

ID-10076706Recently we’ve been asked about the safety of putting ice cubes in a pet’s water dish. This is perfectly fine, there is no danger to your pet if you put ice cubes in their water dish. Because of the misinformation we believe that more information needs to get out for our pet’s health and safety.

Hot days are hard on people and animals alike. Becoming overheated can be dangerous for pets because they are covered in fur and don’t ventilate the same way that humans do. This makes them susceptible to heat stroke and hyperthermia.

Living in a tropical climate like we do in Florida means that you need to take precautions for your pet all year round. The following are tips for keeping pets cool on those especially hot days.

1. Do not lock your pet in your vehicle. If you have to take your pet with you in the car, whatever you do, do not leave them in the car. The vehicle’s inside temperature will double in the heat of the sun. So if it’s 80° outside, then the inside temperature of the car will be 160°.

Every year pet’s die in their owner’s vehicles because they were left inside the car while their owner was out running errands. This is 100% avoidable, so if you have to take your pet with you, that means they need to get out of the car and brought along the entire time your out.

It’s better to clean up any potential mess you might find at home versus bringing your pet along and locking them in your vehicle only to suffer in the heat.

2. Reduce exercise during extreme heat. From 10am-2pm is the hottest part of the day, during a heat wave this time can be even longer. During these intensely hot days you should limit outdoor exposure, or just wait for another day to walk your dog or let your pet out.

Dog’s paws are sensitive to heat, which is another reason you may want to hold off on those walks. The hot pavement can hurt your dog’s paws, so if you need to go for a walk try to stay off side walks and roads.

If you have to go for a walk with your pet make sure to take frequent breaks in the shade, and bring plenty of water for yourself and your pet. You might even consider going for a shorter walk than normal.

There are a variety of accessories you can buy to help keep your dog cool, such as hats, bandanas, and special sun screen to stop sun burns on dog’s with shorter hair.

3. Give your pet plenty of water. During those hot days make sure your pet is well hydrated. You can even give them water with ice cubes in it. There is no danger of bloat as you may have heard. Bloat only occurs when an animal drinks too much water, with or without ice.

In the extreme heat your pet needs to be well hydrated, so they will need more water than usual, and if you can keep their water cool, even better! You might even want to freeze some treats to help them beat the heat. Cats enjoy chasing and eating ice cubes on hot days.

You can even cool your pet down by wrapping them in towels or light blankets that have been soaked in cold water. If your pet doesn’t find a bath stressful, you should give them a cool bath. You can even mist your pet with cool water to help keep the heat at bay.

4. Have your pet groomed. Having their excess hair brushed away, or having their hair cut will help keep your pet cool. You can even take a cloth soaked in cold water and rubbing alcohol and rub it over their ears to help cool their body down.

5. Provide a cool place for your pet inside and outside. If you have central air in you home then that’s the best place for your pet to be. If you don’t have central air then make sure your pet has a cool dark place to relax.

You pet needs a break from the heat, whether it’s in the shade outside, or in the house. Make your pet a comfortable place to relax where it’s cool. You can even dig a hole for your dog to lay in and keep cool.

During the heat do what you can to keep your pet cool. These suggestions are your best ways to keep your pet refreshed. Don’t rely on a fan to keep your pet cool, because a fan might work for you, but it won’t for your pet. Always keep an eye on your pet in the heat to make sure that they have plenty of water, are resting and relaxing, and generally staying cool.

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