Summer is a wonderful time with our four-legged friends. There’s nothing better than going on seaside adventures with our dogs or seeing our cats settle into their favourite sunny garden spot. However, as the weather heats up, it’s important that we take precautions to keep our pets cool in summer.
Here are HiLife’s top tips for pet parents to keep cats and dogs safe during the summer months…
Tips to keep our dogs cool in summer
1) Plan your walks — try and avoid taking dogs out in the midday sun. It’s best to enjoy early morning or evening walks when the weather is cooler. Hot surfaces can burn our pups’ paws; so, no matter the time of day, always make sure to check the temperature of the pavement. It’s recommended to place the back of your hand on a surface for seven seconds; if it’s too hot to keep it there, then it’s not suitable for dogs to walk on.
2) Create a cooling spot — if our dogs are playing out in the garden throughout summer, have a cool spot ready for them. You can purchase a cooling mat for canines, or create your own with a cold, damp towel. You could even get a doggy paddling pool, so they can play while cooling off.
3) Keep on top of grooming — it’s particularly important to maintain a regular grooming routine during the hotter months. Keeping our dogs’ fur free of knots can prevent heat getting trapped in it.
4) Whip up some doggy frozen treats — creating some yummy, dog-friendly frozen treats will do a pawfect job of keeping our dogs hydrated and refreshed. Try blending some vegetables and fruit together, such as carrots and apples, with a dash of water, then leave them to freeze in silicone moulds — preferably bone-shaped for added cuteness. Alternatively, you could pop some of your dog’s favourite HiLife it’s only natural wet food into a mould for a cool, meaty treat.
5) Remember sun cream — it’s not just humans that can suffer from sunburn; our dogs can too. Purchase some dog-friendly sun cream to help protect their skin when they’re outdoors in the garden, on a walk or out on a day trip in the summer. This is particularly important on their noses and if they have lighter coloured fur.
Tips to keep our cats cool in summer
1) Reserve a shady spot — while we know that our cats love to soak up the sunny rays, keep an eye on the time spent under direct sunlight to avoid overheating. If they’re playing in the garden, set up a shady spot for them by putting their favourite bed or box there. If they’re an indoor cat, make sure to keep the windows open for fresh air too.
2) Use a damp towel to cool them down — unlike their canine counterparts, cats don’t particularly love to splash around in water. To cool them down, consider damping a towel with cold water and popping it in their favourite spot to lie down in. Alternatively, you could try stroking cats with a damp towel from their head down their back.
3) Maintain a good grooming routine — heat can get trapped in knotted or matted fur, so it’s important to make sure that we’re brushing our cats every day in the summer months to avoid this — particularly for long-haired felines. Cats may also groom themselves more than usual; however, this isn’t anything to be concerned about. In fact, their own saliva has a natural cooling effect!
4) Make some icy treats — yummy frozen treats can be a great way to keep our cats cool, while also providing them with a fun enrichment activity. You can do this by grabbing some of their favourite HiLife it’s only natural wet food and popping it into a silicone mould to create some meaty, icy cat treats!
5) Remember sun cream — just like with dogs, cats are susceptible to sunburn — particularly if they have lighter coloured fur. Make sure to invest in some feline-friendly sun cream to protect their skin.
Always remember to keep cats and dogs hydrated with plenty of fresh water inside and outside to keep them cool in summer. Please also ensure to watch out for any signs of heat stroke and contact your local vet if you do spot any symptoms.