The following are some practical tips you can employ to keep your pet safe and comfortable throughout the hot summer months
As pets, particularly dogs, are much less efficient at cooling themselves compared to ourselves, they are more susceptible to overheating. The dogs cooling mechanism involves sweat glands located on their foot pads as well as their nose. In order to regular temperature they will pant to promote evaporation from the respiratory tract and exhale warm air.
Walk your dog early and late
As the temperature rises throughout the day and usually cools off in the evening, it would be wise to walk your dog early in the morning and late at night. Avoid walking in the middle of day when usually the temperatures are the warmest. Also be aware that the warm pavement/asphalt can burn the pads so it is important to inspect them after a walk and apply cool water if there appears to be irritation. In addition, always take a source of water with you so that you can provide your dog with water if needed.
Be mindful of your dog’s coat colour
As darker colours absorb sunlight and lighter colours reflect it, dogs whose hair coats are black or dark are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and overheating as the sunlight will be absorbed into the hair coat. In addition, there is controversy whether dogs actually benefit from being shaved in the summer months. As dogs do not have sweat glands on their skin, airflow over the skin is much less efficient if not negligible at cooling compared to us. In addition, the hair coat is supposed to act as insulation for the cold and heat. On the contrary, there have been many examples of dogs seemingly being much more active in the warmer weather after they have been shaved. Therefore, shaving your dog in the summer months is based on personal preference and how your dog responds to shaving.
Have an access door into the basement for your cat
Typically, in most homes the basement is much cooler than the rest of the house and having a spot where your cat can retreat to is very important. Options would include leaving the basement door open throughout the day or installing a small cat door where she can freely enter and remain cool and comfortable.