It's safe to say that most of us love getting out and about in the Summer months. The drier, warmer weather means we can enjoy the outdoors and explore new places with our dogs, with day trips and long dog walks being the order of the day!
It's important that we keep our dogs (and cats!) protected from the weather though. Whilst it's important to keep them warm and dry in Winter, it's equally as important to keep them cool in the Summer. There are a number of ways we can regulate our pet's body temperatures and we've compiled a list of top tips here, with a few product recommendations to help!
The Best Ways To Cool Your Pets In Summer
1. Walk them earlier or later in the day - If the weather is forecast to be hot, make sure you walk your dog at appropriate times during the day. Try not to go out when the sun is at its peak, but rather walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening when it is likely to be cooler.
Not only do you need to keep your dog protected from sun exposure, but also hot pavements and roads. Pavements can become excessively hot in the Summer heat which can lead to burned paws. If the path feels too hot for your hand then it’s too hot for your pup’s paws.
During the day, spend time playing with them indoors or in shaded spots in the garden to keep their brains active. Then walk them when it’s cooler.
2. Keep them hydrated - It’s important for us all to stay hydrated in hot weather and the same goes for our pets. Always make sure your cats and dogs have access to fresh cool water throughout the day, both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor water bowls should be kept in a nice shady spot and refilled throughout the day to ensure they stay cool. You could pop the odd ice cube in to keep the temperature down.
3. Ice treats - Dogs will love a refreshing iced treat such as a lollipop. It will provide a tasty snack whilst helping keep their body temperature regulated. At L&L we stock the delicious Pawsecco lollies that are suitable for both cats and dogs. These are full of scrumptious cooling flavour which is just perfect for a hot day. You could also try freezing your dog’s favourite KONG chew toy stuffed with peanut butter, as an alternative!
4. Provide shady spots in the garden - In the middle of Summer, it isn’t just the heat of the Sun that you need to protect your pup from but also harmful UV rays. Dogs can suffer from sunburn just as we can, so make sure to provide plenty of shady spots when you’re outside. We’d suggest popping a bed or cushion and their water bowl in the shaded area to encourage them to recline here.
Keep checking throughout the day to make sure the Sun hasn’t moved and reconfigure the area if needed. A large summer brolly or small pagoda is a great way to create shade in an open garden that is otherwise exposed to the sun.
5. Cooling mat - Pets tend to gravitate towards cooler or warmer surfaces depending on how they feel. In Summer a cooling mat will give your pets the perfect place to rest when the temperature rises. They can be used indoors or outdoors depending on the type of mat and can be used year after year.
We have a couple of different options in our online shop including the Ancol cooling mat and the All For Paws Chill Out Mat.
6. Paddling pool - Many dogs love a splash around in water. If your dog is one of them, then bring a taste of the beach to your garden with a paddling pool. It will offer lots of fun and games, whilst helping to keep your pup cool on a hot day. Just ensure the water is cool, but not too cold as this could cause your pup’s body to go into shock on a really hot day.
Even if your pup isn’t a keen swimmer, just encouraging them to stand in the water for a while will provide a cooling effect.
7. Garden sprinkler - If your dog doesn’t like the idea of being in a pool of water, a sprinkler might be a great alternative. A cooling spray of water that they can run in and out of when they please. We have a brilliant version by All For Paws which has a button that can be operated by your dog. Train them to stand on the button and release the water as they please. A fun interactive game that’s perfect for Summer games in the garden.
8. Cooling vest - If you’re out and about then a cooling coat or vest might be the practical accessory you need. These are great for dog walks and times when your pet is active. We love the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Cooling Vest which comes in a range of sizes for various breeds. It can simply be soaked in cold water, wrung out and then popped on your dog. It will then help to keep your pup’s body temperature regulated as the water evaporates.
You could also use a drying coat to get a similar result. Drying coats are usually used to dry off wet dogs, but you can actually soak the coat in cool water and pop on your dog in hot weather to help cool them down too. Great for a day at the beach or in the garden. Just remember to keep your pup shaded if you’re at the beach, too.
9. Cooling toys - Your dog’s toy box is probably full of all kinds of toys from plush toys to chew toys. We did mention earlier that you could try freezing your dog’s KONG classic if they have one, but you could also invest in some cooling toys that are made especially for hot weather. The brilliant range of Chill Out toys by All for Paws is available in our shop.
10. Use a fan indoors - Even when you’re out of the sun, and resting indoors, it can still get excessively hot. Closing curtains can help to keep a lot of heat out of the house, but we’d suggest popping a fan near your dog’s bed too. Putting a frozen water bottle in front of the fan can help to create an even more refreshing breeze.
How to keep your cat cool
Cats are very clever and will usually find ways to keep themselves cool. You can also use many of the tips above to make it even easier for your cat to stay comfortable in hot weather such as keeping them hydrated and offering fans around the home. We’d also suggest serving water in a filtered water fountain. Cats can be very fussy when it comes to drinking water which can lead to dehydration if they don't drink enough. Many cats are more attracted to flowing water though and a water fountain offers clean fresh water that will hopefully encourage them to drink more. Perfect for hot summer days! We love the flower fountain by Catit which has a really cute summery design. There's even a mini version for small cats and kittens too!