Summer is here, which means as responsible pet owners, we must ensure our cats and dogs stay cool and hydrated as the weather gets warmer.
Like dogs, cats sweat through their noses and from their paws when they become overheated. Many cats and dogs are also at a high risk of sunstroke due to their coats absorbing the heat. In the same way that an owner wearing excessive layers of clothing would overheat, cats and dogs can also overheat. However, the difference is we are able to remove our layers during hot weather, whereas they are not. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we have highlighted three ways to ensure cats and dogs stays cool this summer.
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to preventing heat exhaustion. During the summer months, ensure your pet’s water bowl is regularly filled up with clean fresh water. Dogs and cats enjoy the taste of fresh clean water and so it is important for owners to maintain this throughout the day.
Cats also love exploring, so try and leave a fresh clean water bowl in every room for them to enjoy. If your cat loves walking on the ledges or window seals of your home, then try leaving a bowl of fresh water nearby for them to enjoy on their travels. Meanwhile, if your dog has a favourite cool place in your home that they love to retreat to, then why not also place a cool water bowl nearby so they can easily hydrate throughout the day.
2. Frozen Treats
Frozen treats are a great and tasty hydrating summer snack for cats and dogs. Many dog owners give their companions small frozen cubes of meat to chew on which is great for canine hydration and cleaning their teeth. Similarly, if you want to provide your cat with a hydrating and fun snack to enjoy, consider ice cubes or frozen pieces of delicately cut sardines. However, avoid any frozen dairy snacks such as ice creams and frozen yogurt as this can give your pet flatulence, stomach cramps and diarrhoea, with some cats and dogs being lactose intolerant. What may be a tasty and refreshing frozen treat for a human may not be for a cat or dog. Only supply a small amount of frozen items at any one time to your pet.
3. Prevent sunburn
Dogs and cats can easily get sunburn, especially if they have white or pale coats. A helpful tip to keep them protected from the glare of the sun is by ensuring they have access to shaded areas throughout the day. Monitor your cat or dog as they explore the garden and make sure they come into the house if you feel the weather is too hot for them.
If you have an outdoor cat and you are worried about them roaming off this summer and getting sunburn, then a great tip to ensure they return home regularly is to feed them small little meals throughout the day.
Many cat owners train their cats to recognise certain sounds like the noise of a bell to indicate that it is feeding time. By ringing a bell your cat will recognise that it is feeding time and return home if it is outside in the garden or away from your home this summer.
Regarding your canine companion, if you feel that it is too hot for a dog walk then always be on the safe side and wait for the temperature to drop or go in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. If your dog has areas of their body where their fur is thin, then apply sun lotion and always make sure they have access to plenty of shade.
If you are worried about your cat or dog suffering from heatstroke, then look out for these signs:
- Agitation and extreme gasping
- Clammy paws
- Extreme self-grooming
- Trouble moving
- Retching/ nausea
If your cat or dog displays any of these symptoms, then call your vet immediately. Remove your pet from the heat and provide them with plenty of water in small doses. Apply a damp cloth to their fur and gently pat them down, making sure not to splash them as this can shock and distress them. As mentioned throughout this article, always contact your vet if you are ever concerned as it is always best to get the opinion of a qualified professional.
We hope you found this article helpful. The hot summer months can pose a risk to our cuddly companions, so make sure they are always hydrated and protected. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we provide a leading luxury cattery service and dog boarding facility for the Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Bedfordshire region. We operate in and around Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock. Call our friendly team today on 01462 742658 if you would like to board your cat or dog with us.