Keeping Your Pet Cool This Summer
- by Michelle Dalida

According to AAA, if it's 85 degrees outdoors, your car's dashboard can heat up to 170 degrees within only 15 minutes – even if you leave the windows cracked open!

Because of this danger, many states have laws against leaving a pet unattended in a car.

Heat can also affect dogs differently depending on their size, breed or coat color. Large dogs and those with pushed-in noses, such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Pekinese, are more at risk of heat stroke.  Also, dogs with darker coats tend to get hotter faster than dogs with light-colored coats. (Another important reason it’s our job to keep our pets cool)

The pampering of our pets has made them less capable of dealing with heat. Unlike their ancestors, most of today’s pets live protected lives (usually indoors) they are less active and are very comfortable with air-conditioning. So what are some do’s and don’ts of keeping your pets cool this summer?

While there are some things you must do differently because of the heat, one thing you shouldn’t change is your pet’s diet. Keeping your pet’s diet as consistent as possible will avoid gastrointestinal problems.

One thing you can change during the summertime is the portion size and frequency of meals. Instead of two or three big meals, some animals might prefer smaller, more frequent meals during the summer, ideally starting at dawn and ending at dusk.

But there are also special precautions pet owners can take once Mother Nature starts to turn up the heat. One option many owners resort to is to shave their pets. While we might think that this is common sense, (if you’re hot and wearing a sweater, you take the sweater off right?) this can actually cause other heat-related problems, such as sunburn. A safer option might just to get your pet’s hair cut short. (to about inch)

Another option is bandanas or body wraps. Yes, they’re not just for fashion anymore! Once dipped in cool water, bandanas or body wraps provide a cooling effect for about 20 minutes as the water evaporates from micro beads in the fabric. 

And if all else fails, nothing beats old-fashioned shade and water for your pet. Throw some ice cubes in a bowl of water and pick a nice shady spot to rest until your pet’s panting is down to normal.  And if you want to improve on this traditional method, modernize it a bit with your own pocket-sized, battery-operated fan.

Michelle Dalida


Read more daily pet news updates by Michelle at her blog,



< Back to The Scoop,  All Rights Reserved