How to cool down your pet in hot weather
Warm weather can be a welcome change after a long period of cold weather. But for pets, it can very easily get too hot. Unlike humans, animals aren’t covered in sweat glands. If pets spend too much time in warm areas, they get overheated very quickly. This is very dangerous and in some cases, it can even lead to death. That’s why you should prepare in time for summer and think of different ways to cool down your pet.
Cooling down your dog
Dogs primarily release heat by panting. They only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet and nose. This isn’t really efficient, so you need to find different solutions for your dog to stay cool. If it’s really hot outside, you shouldn’t go on long walks or hikes. Asphalt and sand get very hot, so try to go on walks in the early morning or evening. Does your dog still show signs of feeling hot? Cool down your dog with some of these cooling products and suggestions:
- Keep your dog hydrated. Of course, you should always provide enough fresh, cool, clean water, but in the summer this is super important. Do keep in mind that the water shouldn’t be too cold, as drinking too fast can result in bloating. On average, dogs require about one to three fluid ounces (30ml to 88ml) of water per pound of body weight. So make sure your dog has an unlimited supply of cool water, and keep the water cool with a special Beeztees Fresco Cooling Bowl.
- Swimming. Perhaps one of the most basic ways to cool down your dog is by taking your friend on a swim. If you’re planning to go to a pond or lake, you should always check the quality of the water first. You can read more about this in our article about taking your dog on a swim. If you don’t leave near any water sources, you can also put up a pool in the garden or on your balcony. Dog pools are extra strong, often have an anti-slip floor and are made to survive dog paws. Check out the Trixie Dog Pool, the Karlie Doggy Pool or the Beeztees Dog Pool Doggy Dip.
- Cooling products. If your dog doesn’t like swimming or you have no room for a pool, there are also products that can cool down your four-legged friend. There are special cooling mats that get cold as soon as your dog lays down on them, like the Aqua Coolkeeper Cooling Mat. You don’t even need a freezer, electricity or water to use it!
There are also cooling coats and cooling collars. You usually have to make these wet or put them in the freezer before they can be used. If you put these on your dog, they will offer some much needed relief.
- Cooling treats. What's better than cooling down with a nice refreshing treat? Just put some wet food in your KONG Classic toy and put in the freezer. This way your dog will feel refreshed while licking the frozen treat out of the toy. For a really special treat, you can also consider getting some Smoofl Ice Cream Mix. With this mix you can quickly make some homemade popsicles that your dog will thoroughly enjoy. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to use this mix!
Also keep in mind that dogs with a thin coat are more likely to get sunburned. If your dog really needs to go for a walk and can’t wait until the evening, you can use the special Dermoscent Sunfree for Dogs & Cats sunscreen.
Cooling down your cat
Cats don’t need a lot of help cooling down because they naturally search out cooler spots. Outdoor cats will usually find a shaded spot themselves, but you can help out by putting up a parasol or some non-poisonous foliage. Do make sure to provide an unlimited source of fresh, cool and clean water. And just like dogs, cats can get sunburned very easily, especially on the nose, ears and belly. White cats are particularly vulnerable to the sun, as they tend to have a thinner coat. If your cat loves to take a nap in a sunny spot, make sure to use the Dermoscent Sunfree for Dogs & Cats Sunscreen.
Does your cat still suffer from the heat? Then you can use a cooling mat. Not every cat will need this mat, and some cats might not even want to lay down on it. To lure your cat over you can use some catnip spray.
Cooling down your rabbit
Rabbits do much better in the cold than the heat, and they tend to get overheated very quickly. They don’t have any sweat glands, so they only release heat via blood vessels in their ears. Once the temperature passes 24°C (75°F), make sure you take extra precautions to look out for your little buddy.
- Move your rabbit’s hutch out of the sun into a cooler space. Consider taking it inside if its cooler there.
- Try a cooling pad. Once your rabbit lays down on the Snugglesafe Cool Pod it will actively cool your rabbit, while the Scratch & Newton Ice Pod needs to be frozen before being put into the hutch.
- Put some paving tiles or grass in the hutch for a cooler subsurface.
- If you use a pen, drape a sunshield over it to block out the sun. An outdoor hutch can be cooled down by putting a wet, white sheet on top of it.
- Provide fresh, cold, clean drinking water. Refresh the water daily and even consider putting down multiple drinking bowls or bottles.
Cooling down rodents
Rodents like guinea pigs, hamsters and rats can also suffer from the heat. Even though they don’t sweat, they still release heat via their ears and pads on their paws. To cool them down you can put cooling pads or cold stones in their cage. Another option is to use a sandbox and fill it with some wet sand. If your pet’s cage is made of plastic, put some cooling elements at the bottom or on the outside to create a cold space. Also make sure your pet has enough fresh water.
Are your guinea pigs in a pen? Then you can use the same solutions that were suggested for rabbits, like using a sunshield or wet, white sheet. It’s also recommended to move the pen to a cooler area like the garage or a cool room.
Cooling down birds
Like all animals, birds need fresh, clean water to stay hydrated and cool in hot weather. You can also provide a little pool they can bathe in. As for the cage, make sure to place it in the shade and consider hanging or placing it lower as it is cooler near the ground. If your birds are in an outside aviary or in a chicken coop, you need to think of ways to create more shade. Put up a parasol, sunshield or a wet, white sheet. A large sandbox with wet weather can also help your chickens to stay cool.
What are signs of heat stress or heatstroke in my pet?
Monitor your pet for signs of heat stress or heatstroke by checking for any of these symptoms:
- Excessive panting and salivating
- Your pet feels warm and breathes very quickly
- Vomiting in dogs
- Birds hold their wings away from their body and seem to be panting
If you notice your pet is suffering from warm weather, you can cool them down with some water. Put some on their head, ears, neck and legs. Always use lukewarm water instead of ice water. Put some cold cloths on the belly and refresh every 5 minutes. Also let your pet drink some lukewarm water.
If your pet is seriously overheating, it can go into shock. You can recognise this by pale gums, rapid heart rate and breathing, cold body ends (mainly paws or feet), and little to no response to stimuli.
If you observe any of the aforementioned signs or are worried your pet might be overheating, seek immediate vet attention and start cooling your pet.