Summer has arrived and many of us are engaging in more outdoor activities with our pets! We would like to provide some tips on how to keep your pets cool.

Just like us, our pets are able to become overheated or experience episodes of heat exhaustion. Dogs and cats have their own unique cooling mechanisms – such as panting and releasing excess heat through their paw pads. Also, some dog breeds are less heat-tolerant and may be predisposed to heat-related complications such as Shih Tzus, Pugs, Boxers, and Bulldogs.

The following are ways that you can stay proactive with keeping your pets safe and cool!

  • Provide constant access to fresh water and areas of shade where your pet can find relief from continuous direct sunlight.

  • Limit exercise and take your time: Breaking up activities and physical exercise into small increments with cool-down periods are more beneficial for you and your pet. Remember that the coolest parts of the day are early morning or later evening – selecting one of these times of day will help you to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

  • Water play: Swimming and/or access to a shallow baby pool creates a way for your dog to cool down easier. Sprinklers can also be used for a quick cool-down if your dog does not prefer pools/swimming. Of course, supervision is always necessary while water play occurs.

  • Cool toys: There are a variety of toys that can be chilled and may provide entertainment for pets on a hot day.

  • Know what’s normal for your pet: We know our pets best! If your pet begins to pant excessively and/or tire out easily during exercise in the heat, these could be warning signs that your pet may be starting to get overheated. Remember to take those cool-down breaks often.