It's not just humans who struggle with the high temperatures of summer; our pets do, too. Especially long-coated breeds who are essentially wearing a jacket they can't take off.
Luckily, there's plenty we can do to prevent pets from feeling the heat too badly.
Below are some tips and products to help you keep your pets cool and safe all summer long.
It's tempting to turn off your air conditioning when you leave the house to save money, but your pets will need it while you're out. Ideally, you should keep shades drawn to keep the house from heating up too much, particularly windows that get full sun, so your pets will be safe and cool indoors. If you don't already have an air conditioning system, the De'Longhi Pinguino shouldn’t use too much power and is easy to use in any room.
If you're a dog owner, it's vital that you walk your dog early in the day before the sun has a chance to get to its full strength. You can also try late-night walks, but it usually doesn't cool down until long after the sun has set, so early morning is generally more convenient. If you really must go later in the day, avoid the hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its strongest, and consider using a cooling vest or jacket. The Canada Pooch Dog Cooling Aqua Vest is a great and affordable option.
The major advantage of walking your dog early: The cement hasn't had as much time to absorb heat. If temperatures get too high, the hot concrete can damage your dog's paws.
Placing a paddling pool in a shady spot in your backyard lets your dog have more outdoor time without overheating. You should choose a dog pool or hardshell kiddie pool rather than an inflatable pool that your dog could puncture.
Cooling mats are filled with a special gel that activates with weight and provides a cooling spot for your pet to lounge. This can make a huge difference in the comfort of your pet on a hot day. They're great for dogs, cats, and even small pets if you can trust them not to chew through the mat.
It should go without saying, but your pet must have access to water at all times to help keep cool and hydrated. In hot weather, your pet is likely to drink more, so you may need to put out an extra water bowl. Dog and cat owners might want to consider investing in a pet fountain. The capacity is far larger than that of a water bowl, plus it can encourage reluctant drinkers.
Your pets might not be able to get as much outdoor exercise as they're used to when it's hot, so find some indoor activities that your pets enjoy to keep them occupied. For a cat, this might be as simple as playing with a piece of string or finding them the perfect cardboard box, but something like the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy can be a fun distraction. For a dog, you might want to teach new tricks or find a fun puzzle game to engage the brain. We like the Trixie Activity Flip Board Strategy Game Dog Toy.
If you own a long-coated dog, summer is the time to opt for a trim, as taking off those layers of excess hair will really help keep them cool. It's probably best to take your dog to a professional groomer unless you know what you're doing. Those who have grooming experience, however, can buy pet clippers. Although they’re an investment, they’re cheaper than a groomer if you'll be using them regularly.
Want your dog to get enough exercise but without overheating? Take them swimming in a lake, river, or ocean, and they can be active while keeping cooler than they would be on dry land. Of course, you need to make sure that your chosen swimming spot is safe and without riptides, strong currents, or excessive reeds that your dog could get tangled in. For the sake of safety, it’s a good idea to put your dog in a life jacket.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.