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caring for pets during summer

Beat the heat - Summer care tips for pets

Keeping pets cool in the summer might need a little extra care during the scorching summer months to ensure their health and well-being. As temperatures soar, pets are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, dehydration, and burnt paw pads.

Unlike us humans, our pets have a limited ability to deal with the heat. While humans can sweat through the skin on their body, dogs release heat by panting, and through their paw pads. Dehydration can also be an issue for pets during the hot weather. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, cannot pant as effectively and are therefore more susceptible to heat stroke.

Here are some useful summer safety tips for pets to keep your furry friend safe and comfortable in the summer:

Recognize the signs of overheating

signs of pet overheating

Here are some common signs of overheating to look out for in your pets:

  • Heavy panting
  • Dry or bright red gums
  • Thick drool
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Wobbly legs

If your pet exhibits any of these signs of heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place with adequate shade, give them a drink of water, cover them with a damp towel, and consult your vet as soon as possible. Don’t place your pet in cold water, as that can put them into shock.

Provide plenty of water and shade

water and shaded area for pets

Dehydration in dogs and cats can be a real concern during the summer. Dogs get much thirstier than us when the heat soars.  Ensure that your pet always has access to fresh, clean water inside the house, and carry a bottle of water for your furry companion when stepping outside. Also consider switching to wet pet food during the hotter months to increase fluid intake.

Common signs of dehydration to look out for include dry gums and excessive drooling.

Keep your pet in the shade as much as possible. While dogs and cats do like to sunbathe, too much direct sunlight can cause them to overheat and lead to heat stroke.

Never leave your pet in the car

While your pet may love car rides, they certainly won’t enjoy being stuck in the car during the hot summer months. You may think that leaving your dog in the car for a few minutes is no big deal, but it can take less than 10 minutes in a closed, hot space like a car for a dog or cat to develop heat stroke. So avoid leaving them in the car at all during the summer, or at least ensure you leave the AC running, if you can’t avoid leaving them in the car for a little while.

Apply pet sunscreen

Applying sunscreen to a pet

Pets, especially those with short or light hair coats, can get sunburns too. And just like with humans, it can cause pain, and may even lead to skin cancer. If you are planning to spend a day out in the sun with your furry friend, apply pet-friendly sunscreens every 3-4 hours to the spots with least fur cover - bellies, ears, and nose.

Only use sunscreens made specifically for pets, since pets tend to lick themselves, and sunscreen made for humans can include components like Zinc, which are toxic for animals.

Bathe and Brush

Speak with your vet and set a bath and brush schedule for your pet based on their specific needs. Exposing your pet to excessive amounts of water within a short period of time can lead to tiredness, pale gums, vomiting, bloating, etc. - also commonly known as water fatigue. So, based on your pet’s age, don’t bathe them for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. Use a high quality pet-friendly shampoo and conditioner to ensure your pet’s good health.

Avoid shaving your pet’s fur. While it may seem like their thick fur can cause overheating, fur protects your pet’s skin from sunburns and summer heat. You can trim your pet’s fur, based on your vet’s recommendation.

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Switch to a summer diet

switching pet diet for summer

Pets tend to eat less during the hot summer months, and prefer cooling foods. You can replace heat-producing meats like goat, chicken, or lamb with duck, rabbit, or freshwater fish, which are the best foods for adult cats and dogs in the summer.

Another great tip is to add fresh watery fruits or freeze-dried crunchy treats made from real fruits and veggies to your pet’s diet as cooling foods for pets in summer. You can also feed them a mix of dry and wet pet food during the summer.

Taking care of dogs and cats during the heat of the summer may require a few extra precautions and preparations, but it is definitely worth following these summer care tips for pets to ensure that your furry friend stays healthy, happy and hydrated.

If you’re looking for the best wet food for dogs and cats, explore amazing offers on an extensive range of dog and cat food brands at Petsy Online.

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