If you didn’t know, July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month! As the temperatures rise and the summer heat begins its oppressive campaign, it becomes crucial to keep our beloved pets in mind. Just like humans, pets are susceptible to dehydration and heat-related illnesses, making it vital for pet owners to be proactive in ensuring our furry friends stay cool and hydrated during the scorching summer months. So we have put together some essential tips and guidelines to help you keep your pets refreshed, comfortable, and safe all summer long.
1. H2O to the Rescue!
It may seem elementary, but it’s crucial not to neglect everyone's favorite liquid—good old water! Just like humans, pets need a constant supply of fresh water to keep them hydrated and ready to leap into their next adventure. So make sure your pets have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Keep a bowl of water in easily accessible areas of your home and refill it regularly to maintain an adequate supply. During hotter days, monitor the water level more frequently and ensure it stays clean. Consider placing multiple water sources in different areas to accommodate your pet's needs. Additionally, if you're taking your pet outdoors, you might bring a portable water bottle and collapsible bowl to keep them hydrated on the go. Remember, hydration is key to your pet's overall health and well-being.
2. Throw Some Shade
Just like humans seek shelter from the scorching sun, our pets also require shaded areas to rest and cool down. Exposure to excessive heat and direct sunlight can lead to heatstroke, sunburn, and discomfort, even for our fur covered companions. Make sure there are shaded spots in your yard or outdoor spaces where your pets can seek refuge from the heat. Trees, bushes, umbrellas, or even a canopy can provide the necessary shade. Ensure that the shaded areas are open and well-ventilated to allow air circulation. If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, a dog house or a cooling pad specifically designed to provide relief from the heat would be a good idea. By creating cool havens, you are helping your pets beat the heat and reduce the risk of heat-related ailments while outside for extended periods of time.
3. Dial It Back A Bit
Exercise is essential for a pets' physical and mental well-being, but adjusting their activity levels during hot summer days is sometimes necessary. The intense heat can be dangerous and cause overheating and exhaustion in humans, let alone pets. Schedule exercise and playtime during the cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings or late evenings when the temperatures are milder. Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest hours, typically between 10 am and 4 pm. Be mindful of your pet's breed and individual tolerance to heat, as some breeds are more susceptible to heat-related issues. Shorten the duration and intensity of exercise sessions to prevent overexertion, and always keep a close eye on your pet for signs of distress, such as excessive panting or lethargy. Remember, their safety and well-being should be a top priority, so don't hesitate to adjust their routine accordingly to keep them comfortable and cool.
4. A Frosty A Day
Who doesn't love a refreshing treat during the hot summer months? Just like us, our pets can benefit from delicious frozen goodies that not only help them cool down but also provide hydration. Prepare simple and healthy frozen treats that your pets will love. For example, fill ice cube trays with diluted low-sodium broth and freeze them. These broth cubes serve as a flavorful way to keep your pets hydrated while providing a fun and refreshing snack. Another option is freezing small pieces of pet-friendly fruits, such as watermelon or strawberries. However, avoid grapes and raisins, as they are toxic to dogs. These frozen treats can help reduce body temperature and provide a tasty way for your pets to stay hydrated. Remember to offer these treats in moderation and consider your pet's dietary needs and any potential allergies. Frozen treats are a wonderful addition to your pet's summer routine and can make hydration a delightful experience for them.
5. DON’T LEAVE THEM IN CARS!!!!
You’ve heard this before, but every year hundreds of pets die so we have to mention it again. Leaving pets unattended in parked vehicles, even for a few minutes, can have devastating consequences. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, even on seemingly mild days, leading to heatstroke and potentially fatal conditions. On hot summer days, the inside of a car left in the sun can reach life-threatening temperatures within minutes, even with the windows cracked. It's essential to understand that leaving the air conditioning on or leaving water in the car is not enough to ensure your pet's safety. The best course of action is to never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. If you must run errands or travel with your pet, make sure they accompany you or have a trusted person stay with them in a properly ventilated, air-conditioned area. By prioritizing your pet's safety and avoiding this potential hazard, you are taking a crucial step toward preventing heat-related emergencies.
Our pets rely on us to keep them safe and comfortable during the hot summer months. By following these essential tips, we can ensure their well-being and prevent dehydration and potentially life threatening situations. Remember to monitor your pet for signs of distress, such as excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, and seek veterinary assistance, immediately if necessary. With our proactive efforts, we can make this summer a delightful and safe season for our beloved pets. So, stay cool, keep your furry pals hydrated, and enjoy the sunshine together!