As temperatures rise during the summer months, it’s important to take proactive measures to ensure the well-being of our beloved pets. Dogs and cats are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses, and overheating can have serious consequences for their health. Since our pets can’t communicate when the heat may be affecting them, it’s critical that we as pet parents recognize the signs and know what to do. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies to prevent overheating as well as how to keep pets cool in summer months.
Keeping your pets cool
Depending on where you live, summertime temperatures can become overwhelming for us and especially our pets! Here are a few ways you can keep them cool, calm, and safe in the warmer months.
Provide ample fresh water
Hydration is crucial for pets (and you) during hot weather. The AVMA says that one of the best and easiest things you can do is ensure that your pets have access to clean and fresh water at all times. Consider placing multiple water bowls in different areas of your home and backyard.
When outdoors, provide a shaded area with a water source to keep them cool and hydrated. If you’re out and about, opt for a collapsible silicone bowl that can easily slip into a backpack. An alternative is a water bottle that acts as a dish and water carrier all in one.
If you’re wondering how to keep cats cool in summer, try getting a fountain. Since cats have a low thirst drive and can easily become dehydrated, these provide them with a cool and moving water source that naturally entices their urge to drink.
Besides staying cool, dogs and cats need water for the health of each cell, tissue and organ in the body, too!
Limit outdoor exercise
According to the Humane Society of the United States, it’s important to limit outdoor activities for your pets during the hottest parts of the day. Opt for walks or playtime in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. Hot pavement can also burn sensitive paw pads, so check the ground temperature before taking your pet for a walk. This is more a tip for keeping dogs cool in summer, but if you walk your cat, take this into consideration, too!
Create a cool indoor environment
Ensure that your home provides a comfortable and cool environment for your pets. Keep blinds or curtains closed during the day to block out direct sunlight. Consider using fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. If your pet spends time outdoors, provide access to shaded areas and consider setting up a fan or misting system to help keep them cool.
Go for a swim
Who doesn’t love going for a dip on a hot summer day? Swimming is another excellent way to keep cool in the summer months. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog and manage their exercise within the water as they can become exhausted due to lack of stamina. If you don’t have access to a body of water or a full-size pool, small pet or kiddy pools are great ways to beat the heat. Although this is a great way for keeping dogs cool in summer, we don’t think their feline counterparts will like it as much.
It is, however, important to note that you should be aware of water intoxication. According to Centennial Animal Hospital, water intoxication (hyponatremia) is a relatively rare but potentially fatal condition that is most commonly seen in dogs that love to play in the water. When dogs dive into pools or play games that cause them to ingest large amounts of water, their bodies can lose sodium. When this happens, a dog’s body’s cells begin to fill with water and swell. If this happens in the brain, the central nervous system can be affected. This can result in vomiting, difficulty breathing, comas, and more, so if you suspect your dog is experiencing hyponatremia, we suggest getting veterinary assistance immediately.
Never leave pets in parked vehicles
One of the easiest ways how to keep dogs cool in summer is to not expose them to the heat when it’s not necessary! Temperatures inside parked vehicles can quickly reach dangerous levels, even with the windows cracked. Never leave your pets unattended in a parked car, as it can lead to heatstroke or even death. If you need to run errands, leave your pets at home in a cool and safe environment.
Consider cooling accessories
There are various cooling accessories available that can help keep your pets comfortable. Wet towels, cooling mats, or ice packs wrapped in a cloth can provide a cooling spot for them to rest. You can also consider using pet-specific cooling vests, collars, or bandanas that are designed to keep them cool in hot weather. Most accessories are filled with either a gel or water-based ingredient that can be chilled prior to use. It’s an especially great idea to have two, so you always have a cool one to rotate with. These accessories are great for keeping dogs cool in summer as well as cats.
Keep an eye on the humidity
If you think a humid day can get under your skin, just imagine being covered head to toe in fur! When animals pant, moisture is evaporated from their lungs, removing heat from their body. If the humidity is too high, they can’t cool themselves, resulting in very dangerous body temperatures.
Feed a hydrating diet
When the sun is beating down, dry food might be the last thing your pet wants. Instead, it may prefer a more hydrating and nourishing meal, like a Bold by Nature raw diet. Bold by Nature raw diets are a great option both cats and dogs and can also be fed as a kitten puppy raw food diet. Each diet contains a high moisture content, ensuring that every pet is getting its H20 in, whether it’s making trips to the water dish or not.
Aside from its hydrating properties, there are many things that make a Bold by Nature formula the ideal diet for your pet. Each diet provides a list of benefits that include cleaner teeth, healthier skin, shinier coats, and a healthier digestive tract, meaning smaller, less smelly stools. On top of these benefits, the high meat content found in our raw diets helps to satisfy even the most finicky palettes with delicious tastes.
Raw diets are also the best food for cats with allergies (as well as hot spots on dogs), as they contain limited ingredients. Since most traditional dry diets can contain upwards of 30 ingredients, a natural pet food diet like our Bold by Nature raw formulas can make it easier to locate the culprit allergen.
Try a tripesicle
When we’re hot it’s not uncommon to enjoy a nice, cold popsicle. Well, think of the tripesicle as the same thing for your dog. Bold by Nature’s raw tripesicles are a fresh and freezer ready treat to keep your pet nice and cool.
If you don’t know, tripe, also known as the toothbrush of meats, is a great way to give your dog’s teeth a clean. This textured and delicious frozen treat helps to naturally floss and stimulate your dog’s gums while scraping away any buildup of plaque from around the tooth enamel.
While tripesicles are intended for dogs, Bold by Nature also offers freezer-ready raw chicken feet and raw chicken necks for your cats to snack on.
Recognize signs of overheating
It’s crucial to be able to recognize the signs of overheating in pets. Symptoms may include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, bright red gums, vomiting, or difficulty breathing. If you suspect your pet is overheating, move them to a cooler area, offer water, and contact your veterinarian immediately.
How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke
If you suspect your pet is suffering from a heatstroke, there are a few things you can do to provide immediate assistance. If you do not feel comfortable doing any of these, always contact your holistic vet for help!
Immediately get in contact with your veterinarian
Heat stroke can be very dangerous and requires immediate attention. It is always best to seek advice from your veterinarian in these circumstances.
Move them to cooler area
Bring them to a shaded or air-conditioned spot away from direct sunlight. This will help prevent further overheating and allows for more effective treatment.
Provide cool water
Offer your cat or dog some cool (not ice-cold) water to drink. If they aren’t interested, there’s no need to force it, as this can cause choking. Try wetting their paws or using a damp cloth to gently cool their body.
Get the fans going
Turn on fans, open a window, or have the AC going! This will help cool down their body temperature, but make sure no high-velocity fans are being used directly on your pet.
Where can I find Bold by Nature products?
Now that you know how to keep your pets cool in summer, it’s time to get a few things! You can purchase Bold by Nature products, like raw food for dogs or cat raw food, either online or at a local retailer that carries Bold by Nature products. If you’re unsure of which stores carry our products, you can use our location finder to explore retailers.
A Bold recap
Now that we’ve gone over ways to prevent overheating and explained how to cool pets in summer, you know that it is essential for their well-being. By following these guidelines and recognizing signs of overheating, we can ensure our furry friends stay safe and comfortable during hot weather. Remember, the well-being of our pets is our responsibility, and keeping them cool and protected from heat-related illnesses is an important part of responsible pet ownership.