Summer is here and Seattle is heating up! With most homes and apartments not having A/C, pets can have a difficult time with the record-breaking temperatures. Below are some tips to keep your pets cool and safe.
Make sure your pet has access to cool, fresh water at ALL times! If you're going hiking or on a road trip, bring portable bowls and water bottles.
Keeping your pets well-hydrated should help prevent them from drinking out of potentially contaminated water sources like dirty puddles, swamps, or salt water. Be sure to place all water dishes out of direct sunlight so that they don't warm up!
Signs of Dehydration
Not sure if your pet is dehydrated? Check their hydration levels!
- Lethargy and excessive panting are signs of dehydration.
- Your pet's nose should be damp, not dry.
- Your pet's eyes should not look sunken in.
- Their gums and tongue should be pink and wet, not pale and dry or tacky.
- Tent the skin on the back of the neck by pinching and pulling upward. It should fall easily and quickly back into place. If it stays tented or returns slowly back into place, your pet is severely dehydrated. Other above symptoms will be easily noticeable if your pet has reached this state.
Just Keep Swimming... Kinda
Heading to the coast? Take the dogs for a swim! Many "adventure cats" are also making names for themselves as outdoor enthusiasts, joining their owners on leashed (and sometimes life-jacketed) excursions. Cats, however, aren't usually big fans of swimming--so leave that to the dogs--but some enjoy cruising tandem on a kayak. What enrichment!
Swimming is a great form of physical therapy for aging or ailing pets, but remember that even exercising in the water too hard or too long can result in overexertion and dehydration. Even with bodies of water all around us, your pet should still have access to fresh water.
Play It Cool
Be sure not to overexert your pet nor leave them in a non-ventilated area during these hot summer days. Circulate cool air with fans in rooms where your pet resides. Keep curtains and blinds closed to prevent the home heating up with direct sunlight. Activity in or outside should be limited on hot days.
Additionally, sometimes the shaded outdoors is actually cooler than inside the home--at least a home without A/C! When playing fetch or going on walks, be aware that paw pads don't have anything protecting them from hot ground surfaces, like asphalt, cement, rocks, and sand. Again, remember to restrict playtime, even if your pet is begging for it!
Looking to cool down your pet? Try these cooling options:
- Frozen blueberries
- Frozen peanut butter ice cubes (for dogs)
- Frozen meat treats
- Frozen chicken broth ice cubes
- Berry yogurt pup-sicles
- Watermelon balls (with a melon scooper!)
- Cooling herbs: mint, cilantro, fennel
If your pet is overheated, dehydrated, or seems to be struggling with the weather, be sure to take them to the emergency room. Remember, Ancient Arts does not offer emergency services! Don't forget to keep pets away from the BBQ this summer, too!