Source: Australian Dog Lover
8 Tips to Keep Pets Safe during Summer…
Heat exhaustion and dehydration can be detrimental to our pets’ health and is a condition that becomes more common through summer, especially when the humidity is high.
Understanding some simple ways to keep your pet cool through the hotter days can be an easy way to avoid dehydration.
PetSafe® Australia has shared their 8 simple tips to keep your pet cool and hydrated this season as part of their annual Pet Hydration Month campaign.
#1. More Water, More Often
Animals need more water than humans. Dogs for example are made up of 80% water where humans are only 60%. Therefore, in the heat of summer, your dog requires more water, more often.
A general rule of thumb is that a dog needs 70mls of water per kilogram of body weight, so a 4.5kg dog needs 2 bowls a day, and a 35kg dog needs 10!
The easiest way to encourage your pet to constantly rehydrate is with a pet drinking fountain.
These provide fresh, filtered water to your pet and the multiple streams of free falling water entice your pet to drink more.
#2. Provide Shade – All Day
Most dog owners are not home for most of the day, with pets being left alone sometimes up to 10 hours. The backyard is the most common area that dogs will be, and most people don’t realise that this can also be the most hazardous.
Make sure you provide your pet with adequate shade that will last all day. This can be easily achieved by investing in a shade cloth, large outdoor umbrella or canopy, or a kennel. But remember not all dog houses are ‘heat proof’ so make sure you give them an all-day shady option.
#3. Keep That Hair Short
Just like you would prepare your home for bush fire season, you need to prepare your pet for summer! The shorter the hair, the cooler they will stay so if you have a dog with a long or shaggy coat give it a nice short shave. This will keep them cool.
However not all dogs should be shaved. In particular, dogs with a double coat should not be shaved – e.g. the Samoyed, Husky, Border Collie and German Shepherd breeds. In fact, you should avoid shaving any dog (regardless of breed) that has an undercoat. Shorthaired dogs should also avoid being shaved. These dogs only have a single layer of fur, so shaving it off increases the risk of sunburns.
#4. Exercise at Dawn or Dusk
All pets need some exercise; however if you take them out for walks in the summer time change your routine to dawn or dusk walks.
This makes it cooler for you and your pet and is also less harsh on their paws. They can feel the heat of the sand or bitumen just like you!
#5. Let Them Dig
Believe it or not… dogs don’t just dig out of boredom. It can be to hide food or toys but also to keep cool! Just remember, a little bit of digging won’t hurt.
#6. Freeze some doggie icy poles
Dogs love a frozen treat in the summer and it cools them down.
Pet icy poles are easy to make and can keep them busy. Just add their favourite treats to water and freeze! Easy!
#7. Give them a Bath
Shallow pools are a great way for your pet to cool down! Or buy a child’s sand pit / clam shell and fill it with shallow water and watch them splash! Just ensure that you keep an eye on your pets whilst they use the pool.
#8. Never Chain them Up
Some people will tie up their dogs in the backyard when they head out for the day! However. this can prevent them from finding cool shade or respite from the heat of the day.
If you don’t have adequate fencing you could invest in a pet containment system or corner off a smaller section of the yard that has plenty of shade and water!
Dehydration in pets can be very serious and even deadly in some cases, being aware of your pets’ hydration needs could be the difference between life and death for our pets over the summer.