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Ways to Keep Your Pets Cool in the Heat

The heat has finally joined us for Summer in the Pacific Northwest.  With the higher temperatures, we wanted to share some tips to keep your pets cool during the hot weather.  We provided tips to help you stay you cool when temperatures started to spike earlier in the season, so check those out for a refresher!

The Basics:

  • Always provide plenty of water and ample shade for your pets
    Staying hydrated is just as important for pets as it is for humans.  A great way to help ensure your pet stays hydrated, and cool, is to freeze a toy (or a few) in a giant ice block and let them go at it.  You’ll keep your dog occupied and hydrated at the same time!
  • Never leave pets in cars or in direct sun on a warm daydog in car, hot car dog, car temperature
    Even if the windows are open, a car can heat up quickly on a hot day. Leaving a car running with AC is no guarantee, either.  There are reports of cars stalling or shutting off, ending in a tragic loss of life.  Note: If you encounter a dog locked in a car in the heat, contact 911.  Washington State Law does not permit citizens to legally break the window of a vehicle, even if a dog is in the car.  Auburn’s Animal Control officers are 
  • Watch out for your pup’s paws!
    Feel the pavement, if it is too hot to hold your hand to it is too hot for your dog.  Avoid the pavement on walks or skip the outing altogether.  The alternative to this would be using heat-resistant booties to protect your pup’s paws.
  • Know the signs of heatstroke and monitor your pet for them
    Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment by your veterinarian. Symptoms are exaggerated panting, rapid heartbeat, high fever, vomiting, staring, anxious expression and warm, dry skin.
  • Ensure your dog is appropriately groomed
    Long-haired dogs may require extra brushing to get excess hair out to help keep them cool.  Do not shave dogs such as huskies, their undercoat helps regulate their temperature!
  • Protect your dog from sunburn
    Apply sunscreen to light-colored or thin-haired dogs if they’re going to be in the sun for a long period of time.  According to PetMD, “Pets with light skin and short or thin hair coat are particularly prone to sunburn or skin cancer. The sunscreen should be fragrance-free, non-staining, and contain UVA and UVB barriers similar to sunscreens made for humans. Consult your veterinarian, but there are some sunscreens available made specifically for pets.”
  • Make sure your dog can pant
    Ensure any leashes or training tools you use allows your dog plenty of room to properly pant.  Panting is important for a dog to stay cool, this is how they evaporate most of their heat from their tongue!
  • But keep an eye on your cat, because panting in a cat is bad
    It is not normal for your cat to pant and is a potential sign of a life-threatening emergency.  Contact your vet immediately or take your cat to the nearest animal hospital for assistance.

For Your Homestead Animals:

  • Provide a shallow area of water for chickens to place their feet in to stay cool
  • Add a fan overhead in the coop, cage or stalls to circulate air
  • Freeze fruits and vegetables in an ice block for the chickens to peck at
  • Freeze water bottles for your rabbits to lay within their cage
  • Use a mister over your homestead animals’ cages or stall to help keep them cool
  • Provide a cool area for them to lay on, such as tile or a cool wet towel
  • Brush out your rabbit to decrease excess fur
  • Consider the time of day you ride your horse and ride in the shade when possible
  • Always cool down your horse after your ride by applying cool water over their entire body

Know some great tips to keep your pets cool in the summer? Share them in the comments below!

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