Summer is definitely my favourite time of year – I love the warmth and the extra daylight hours mean I get so much more done, but our pets can’t escape their fur coats and many struggle to keep cool.
Here are my top 5 tips to help your pet stay cool when the mercury rises.
It is essential to have fresh, cool water available at all times. Use heavy water bowls that can’t be knocked over. As the sun moves, it is essential to make sure that bowls will always be in shade throughout the day as the water can quickly heat up to undrinkable temperatures. You can also add some ice cubes to the water to help keep it cool.
When out walking, take a portable water bottle and bowl with some chilled water.
Many dogs get stressed by exercising in extreme heat and it can also be very dangerous. Always walk your dog early morning or late evening, not during the heat of the day. Remember, their tolerances are very different to ours.
Pavements and roads can get extremely hot and can burn the pads of your dog’s paws - if you want to walk in the evening, make sure the path or road is cool enough for your dog to walk on. If it is too hot for you to place your bare foot, then it is too hot for your dog to walk on. Dogs can suffer very painful burns on the pads of their feet if you allow them to walk when the ground is too hot.
Walking on grassy areas can be more comfortable for your dog, provided they are not allergic to grass. Many people are not aware that artificial grass and sand can heat up to dangerous temperatures, so avoid walking on these surfaces on a hot day.
3. KEEP PETS INDOORS
On really hot days, keep your pet indoors ideally with air-conditioning running. A fan can also help cool your pet provided you dampen their coat first and they sit near the fan.
If your pet must be outdoors, it is essential that there is shade for them throughout the day.
You can freeze a plastic water bottle overnight and place in an old sock or towel and put in your pet’s bed or favourite place to hang. Remember, the water will expand a little when it freezes so don’t fill the bottle completely.
Dogs and cats can also suffer from skin cancer and sunburn. This is common in white animals with pink skin on their noses and ears but can occur on any pet where skin is exposed, like their ears and muzzle. As with humans, prevention is the best cure and pets should be kept out of sun between 11.00am and 3pm. There are pet sunscreens available and also protective sunsuits for dogs that like to bake belly up.
An elevated bed is a great idea in summer, especially for outdoor dogs - they provide good circulation between your dog’s body and the ground.
Look for an open- weave breathable cover like the Snooza Flea Free or Fleaproofer Dog Bed that can be used with other Snooza products like Multimats, Woolly covers and Futons. With brand new colours now available in these beds they’ll suit interiors too so don’t be afraid to bring one inside.
As the warmer months bring pesky fleas, be sure to air and wash your pets bedding regularly in conjunction with using a treatment that breaks the flea lifecycle. Having a spare cover on hand is great and makes washing and changing beds so much easier.
Snooza Raised beds are super easy to clean as they can be hosed down, and like their name suggests the open weave fabric means fleas won’t be able to breed in these beds.
My own pets enjoy sleeping on the Snooza Futon – it has a cool organic cotton cover that is simple to wash and the insulating properties of the inner wool blend helps keep them cool in summer (and warm in winter). Keep an eye out for their limited release 'summer futons' in some of their classic fabrics - these futons are fully stitched without a removable cover but are fully machine washable too!
TIP: The Futons work really well with the elevated beds too for that extra level of comfort.