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Dog sunscreen, and other ways to keep your pets cool

Posted on 22nd August 2018 by Green Lane Farm Team

How To Keep Your Pets Cool

Rabbit in garden

When it gets hot, we as a nation can be very proactive with our factor 50, large sun hats, and stash of refillable water bottles. So think about it, what do we really do for our pets? Just like us, our pets require a little help in order to keep cool. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be overlooked because they can’t tell us when they’re too hot. This month Green Lane Farm are here to help, so you and your furry friend remain happy and healthy in spite of soaring temperatures.

How hot is too hot for pets?

There’s no exact rule to say how hot is too hot for a dog or cat. As a rule of thumb, if it’s too hot or humid for you, it’s also too much for them. Once the temperature exceeds 20 degrees, keep an especially close eye on your pet to ensure they’re OK. 

Tips on how to keep pets cool in the heat

  • Don’t leave your pet outside
    Of course, you will want your cat, dog, rabbit and guinea pig to enjoy a little bit of sunshine; a quick stretch and a run around the garden for ten minutes can do them the world of good. You may wish to let them out a few times a day, but make sure you monitor how long they have been out for – and be sure they have access to water whilst outside. Alternatively if you can leave your back door open for your pets to enter, or have a little house for the rabbit or guinea pig to get shade – that would be even better.
  • Cooling mats and cooling pads
    Cat cooling pads and dog cooling pads work the same way – they don’t require freezing or the use of electricity, cooling mats have are filled with a gel that’s pressure-activated when your pet lies on it. Great for car journeys and popping in their beds under a thin blanket.
  • Don’t keep them in cars
    You’ve decided to pop to the shops on your way back home in the car but you have your furry friend with you – think again. Go home! Let your pet wander a cool, temperate house – don’t leave them to suffer to death in a hot car. You wouldn’t do it to a baby, so don’t do it to your pets – it’s animal cruelty.
  • Brush your pet
    When you brush your pet, you will remove their dead undercoat which can build should it become matted. Brushing your pet once a day will help air to circulate around their bodies and keep them feeling fresh.
  • Get a paddling pool
    Not only are paddling pools fun for us but our pets too! Place a pool in the shade in your garden and fill it up with cool water. Your pet might be curious at first but once they dip their paws in, they will be well away!
  • Do not shave your pet
    Cats: completely shaving your pet can affect their temperature regulation. There are no benefits to shaving cats, it will not make them cooler and they already have the ability to find much shadier areas when wandering in and out of yours and your neighbours’ gardens.

    Dogs: can get smelly when their hair gets too long and their hair can become matted, so yes it’s always important to keep them well groomed but that said, you musn’t shave your pet. A quick trim is sufficient, leaving a good inch of hair – anything more will allow them to get sunburnt and this can become very sore.

    Always research your dog’s breed. Huskies and Malamutes, for example, shouldn’t ever be shaved unless it’s for medical reasons. Their thick coats may seem excessive in summer, but shaving their coat won’t help. It will only cause them confusion and sunburn – plus their coat will shed naturally.

    It’s important to note dogs don’t sweat to cool down like we do; they cool off by panting.

Cat lying under bench in summerHow to keep your pets cool outside

  • Provide shady areas in your garden
    Any pet that goes outdoors must have access to shade, you wouldn’t sit in the sun all day – so why make your pets? Make sure your furry friends have ample shade. If your rabbits or guinea pigs are in their outdoor pen, ensure there’s a covered area so they can take shelter. As for cats and dogs, provide a few kennels, or a patio area with an umbrella or awnings for them to sit under. Keep an eye on your pets throughout the day because even shade can make them overheat. If it’s still just too hot outside, bring them in.
  • Take your dog for early morning walks or late afternoon walks
    You enjoy a good walk with your dog but it’s been far too hot. Take your pal for a walk in the early morning, or late in the afternoon once the temperature has dropped and there’s more shade.
  • Keep a fresh bowl of water about
    If your pet is outside in the heat, it’s essential they keep hydrated. Make sure there’s always a bowl of water close at hand, and ensure you keep an eye on it, topping it up when necessary.

Pets outside in the summer

  • Sunscreen – for use on dogs and cats is available to buy in various forms such as sprays or wipes.  Just as with human application, it is advisable you test it out on a small area first. There are several kinds of pet-specific suntan lotion you can use, but if you’re in desperate need you can also use one designed for humans. If this is the case, the lotion should ideally be at least SPF 15 or higher, as well as being hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
  • Ticks and fleas – thrive in the summer and can cause great discomfort to your pet. To tackle these problems, give your pet tick and flea treatment or a flea collar. You will also want to regularly vacuum your home, wash bed linens and mow your lawn regularly.
  • Hot ground can give your pal sore paws – so be sure to check the ground before you take your pet on a long walk. To a test if it’s cool enough to walk your dog, place your hand on the ground and keep it there for about 10 seconds. If you feel discomfort, do not walk your pet. Dogs don’t wear shoes like we do – the floor can cause serious damage to the pads of their feet.

How do I know my pet is overly hot?

  • Panting
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Stumbling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Heatstroke

 

For the best possible care in Chessington and the surrounding areas, turn to Green Lane Farm Boarding Kennels & Cattery. We have a wealth of experience looking after cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks, mice, tortoises and more. Our excellent reputation has gained us the trust of regular customers and many happy pets. For a reliable and trouble-free service from genuine animal lovers, get in touch today and let’s book your pets’ holiday home!

This entry was posted in Cats, Dogs, Pet Care, Pets & Health, Resources - Pet Health/Safety. Bookmark the permalink.

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