It’s summer in Australia and temperatures average at about 30° celsius – on a good day. Dogs, with their coats of fur, can be badly affected by the rising temperatures and humidity. And because many pet owners go on a holiday during summer, it would also help to inform house sitters what they can do to keep dogs healthy while under their care. So if you have a pet, we’ve listed a few tips here that can help you keep your dogs cool this summer season.
Make sure your dogs have cool areas to stay in. – This includes areas in and out of your house. Set up beds or rest areas for them against cool walls in your garage or living areas. Tiled floors located in the south side of your home is advisable. If you have a yard with trees, set up a place for your pets under the shade. You can also dig in the soil – down to where it is cooler so your dog can lie down in it. There are also cool mats you can buy at pet stores.
Keep your dog hydrated. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We can’t say it enough. Refill their water bowl with clean, cold water at least twice a day. Leave as many water bowls around your home if possible, and avoid placing them in sun-exposed areas. Oh, and let your dog play with ice cubes.
If you have senior dogs, give them a cool bath. Younger dogs can be kept calm by running a cool sponge until their fur is wet. Keep a fan on to keep their temperatures manageable until their fur dries.
Fill PET bottles with water, freeze it and give it to your dog as a toy. You can also place it in their beds so they can stay cool while napping.
Wet food is ideal during summer season for their higher water content.
Schedule walks in the evening. If your area is experiencing a heatwave, wait a full day after the heatwave before taking your dog for a walk.
Don’t feed your dogs in the morning. Feed them during cooler times in the evening, to manage their internal temperature. If you must feed them during day time, give them meat you’ve stored in the freezer the night before. It would be a yummy cool treat during stressful hot days.
Don’t worry about your dog not eating. Loss of appetite is normal among dogs in very hot weather. As long as your dog is properly hydrated, it will be okay. Give smaller portions of food and hold back on the treats for the meantime.
Do not leave your dog in the car for any period of time. Nope. Not even for a minute. Don’t do it.
Do not cover or have your dog lie down on wet towels. Wet towels dry quickly against the dog’s skin/fur and retain heat.
Do not let your pet out in the sun.
If you’re going on a long holiday this summer and leaving your home and dog to house sitters, give them a list of things you’re doing to keep your pet cool. Leave them with your vet’s phone number and clinic address so they can take your dog in for regular health check ups or an emergency. Remember, there is no need for your dog to not stay healthy and happy this summer season. Hopefully the tips above can help and let you and your pet have worry-free holidays.