The weather has been pretty warm lately (and our furry friends are noticing it, too). It’s probably a good time to be thinking about ways we can help keep our pets cool.
Dogs are more susceptible to heat stress than humans as they can’t sweat and often have coats that are not suited to warmer climates (particularly double-coated arctic breeds).
Staffy’s and dogs with snub-noses are also inclined to overheat and then develop breathing difficulties, which is often compounded by a desire to obsessively fetch that ball until the point of collapse!
So we have put together a few tips to keep your dog cool this summer:
Provide a shallow pool, like those clam-shell sandpit creations that kids use. The quickest way for your dog to cool down is by standing or lying in some water.
Provide multiple stainless steel water bowls in shady areas rather than plastic bowls and change at least once daily.
Use an elevated dog bed such as a trampoline bed.
Provide a fan (one that can’t be knocked over, and with a cord that is protected from chewing if your dog is so inclined!).
Avoid walks during 10-4pm, on really hot days walk at dawn and dusk.
Never leave your dog in the car, even for 5 minutes, the temperature inside a car can increase rapidly to fatal temperatures.
Freeze some 2L water bottles, wrap them in a tea towel and place them near pet resting areas.
Make some pupsicles (you can use many food items such as salt reduced (onion free) stock, dog food or peanut butter and freeze in anything from an old icecream container to a muffin tin.
Use a sprinkler on a timer to come on in the middle of the day.
Hang some wet towels to create a simple air conditioner.
Allow your dog to dig a hole to lie in if the garden can stand it.
Enjoy the summer! We hope these tips will keep your dog cool over those long summer days.
Frozen Peanut Butter and Yogurt Treats
I think we can call it: Summer is here. It’s time to whip out the ice blocks, but what about something to keep our pups cool? We found a five minute recipe for peanut butter and yogurt frozen treats that they will absolutely love.
This one is insanely simple, and comes courtesy of the blog 17 Apart, where you can also find some other great recipes if you’re interested.
All you need is plain Greek yogurt and natural peanut butter. Yep, that’s it.
These guys have done them in a heart-shaped ice cube mold, which makes them even more special.
First up, it might be easiest to melt the peanut butter a little bit. That way you can easily spoon a little bit into the bottom of each heart and it will settle right into the mould. You don’t need too much peanut butter, it’s more to add a touch of flavor with the yogurt.
Second, spoon some yogurt on top and press it in so that it fills the mold. You might need to tap the ice cube tray on the bench a couple of times. Then just use the back of the spoon to level it off flat across the top.
Finally, pop it in the freezer and once they’re frozen, pull one out for your pup to try. Couldn’t be easier!
If they are a bit cold for your pup’s mouth, you could always try slotting them into a Kong toy for them to lick at as they melt.
While humans are uttering “oohs” and “ahhs,” enjoying the 4th of July fireworks, many terrified dogs are digging under or jumping over fences, breaking tethers or even shattering windows in an attempt to escape from the frightening noises. Cats who are allowed outside are also vulnerable to being scared away from their homes.
Frightened run-away pets wind up in shelters across the country, which fill beyond capacity in the days following the unofficial kickoff to summer, making it their busiest time of year. Some of these lost animals will eventually be reunited with their families, but others will sadly be injured or killed in traffic or remain unclaimed in shelters.
Although it’s unclear why fireworks are more terrifying for some pets than others, Best Friends Animal Society veterinarian Dr. Michael Dix points out that loud noise that seem to come out of nowhere, can induce a fear response in many dogs.
“If a dog cannot settle down, constantly pants, barks or seems to be trying to hide or escape, they may have a fear of fireworks,” Dix said. “If you feel your animal has a severe phobia or a negative reaction to fireworks, you should contact your veterinarian about options including anti-anxiety medications.”
“Noise phobias in cats tend to be less noticeable,” Dix continued. “They can manifest as hiding in small areas, which is also behavior for a cat. Thus, owners are less aware of the stress the cat may feel.”
Best Friends Animal Society recommends taking a few simple precautions before the first fireworks are lit to help keep pets home, safe and comfortable this holiday weekend:
Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a quiet room, close curtains and play music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.
Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including in your own yard or street, as some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.
Ensure that pets are microchipped and wear current identification tags, just in case they accidentally get loose.
If your pet does go missing over the holiday, check immediately and often with local animal shelters. Go to the shelter in person to identify your pet, rather than calling or emailing, as staff may not be able to respond in a timely enough fashion. Kennel space is often limited around the 4th of July because so many pets panic, and some shelters are unable to hold animals extra time due to overcrowding.