While the Summer heat is a welcome guest for many South Florida residents, our pets may not feel the same way. If you have a fury dog breed or one that is not naturally used to living and playing in hotter, more humid weather, you have to monitor him or her to ensure they do not get overheated. In addition to paying attention to your dogs’ behavior, here are some other tips on how to help your dog stay cool this Summer.
Leave the A/C On
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 you shouldn't use too much power and is easy to use in any room.
Walk Your Dog Early
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.
Add a Dog Pool
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 hard-shell kiddie pool rather than an inflatable pool that your dog could puncture.
Get a Cool Mat
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.
Make Sure Your Pets Have Constant Access to Water
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.