How to Protect Your Pet from the Heat

Written by: Only Natural Pet Advice Team

When summer is in full swing, and it's the perfect time of to get outside and enjoy the sunshine with your pets. But remember that heat can be dangerous for cats and dogs, so it's important to make sure that they're protected. In this post, we'll share some practical tips to help you protect your pet from the heat.

Provide Plenty of Fresh Water

Keeping your pet well hydrated is vital for their health, especially during the warm summer months. Dehydration can lead to a multitude of health problems, including urinary tract issues and kidney problems. And when the weather is hot, dehydrated pets are at greater risk of developing heatstroke.

Keep your pet hydrated by placing bowls of fresh water around your home and yard. Be sure to refill them regularly throughout the day so your pet always has plenty to drink. It's also a good idea to top up your pet's water bowls with ice, so their drinking water stays cool in the heat.

Heading out for a walk or day trip with your pet? Don't forget to take plenty of water with you. A collapsible bowl or pet water bottle is an indispensable item for providing your pet with water on the go.

Ensure Your Pet Has Access to Shade

Make sure to provide shaded areas outside so your pet can relax away from direct sunlight. If you don't have any large shady trees in your yard, we recommend putting up a sunshade or shade tent.

The Arcadia Trail Lightweight Shade Tent is specially designed to shade your pet from the sun. Made from water-repellent ripstop material, it's durable, portable, and easy to set up.

Protect Your Pet's Paws

When temperatures rise, sidewalks, sandy beaches, and other surfaces can heat up and scorch your pet's paws. That's why it's important to make sure your pet's sensitive paw pads are protected from the summer heat.

Applying paw balm to your pet's paws will help keep them nourished and protected. Natural moisturizing balms are made from natural ingredients, including coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter. It adds a barrier between your pet's paws and the ground and protects pads from burning on hot pavement.

If you're a pup parent who spends a lot of time outdoors with your dog during summer, consider investing in a pair of warm weather dog boots. Arcadia Trail Warm Weather Boots offer excellent protection against hot surfaces and terrain. They feature breathable mesh, non-skid bottoms, and reflective trim for the ultimate in safety and comfort.

Keep Your Pet’s Body Cool

Make sure to protect your pet's body when they head outside during summer. Lightweight cooling vests help prevent your pet from overheating on hot summer days. They work by reflecting heat and cooling your pet through the process of evaporation.

Arcadia Trail Cooling Vests are available in a wide range of sizes to fit all breeds of dogs. Simply soak with water and wring out to activate for rapid heat relief.

Make Some Tasty Frozen Pet Treats

Help your furry friend keep cool this summer by making some delicious frozen pet treats. Simply fill an ice cube tray, popsicle mold, or KONG Classic with your pet's favorite wet food and freeze for a few hours or overnight.

You could also experiment with different flavors and textures by freezing water or bone broth mixed with food toppers, finely chopped, pet-safe fruits and vegetables, or shredded meat.

Let Your Pet Take a Dip

Most dogs (and even some cats!) enjoy swimming and splashing around in the water, and it's a great way to help them cool down in the summer heat. Already have a kiddie paddling pool? Set it up in your backyard and let your pet take a dip. Just make sure to trim your pet's nails if you'll be using an inflatable paddling pool.

A hard-shell paddling pool is a better option if you're worried about rips and snags. And if you're feeling handy, you could even consider making a DIY pet paddling pool. Need some inspiration? This article from Instructables includes step-by-step instructions for making a budget-friendly pet pool.

Watch for Signs of Heatstroke

Following the tips in this post will help keep your pet cool, but it's also important to protect your furry friends by watching for signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), "heatstroke, also known as overheating or heat exhaustion, occurs when your pet’s body temperature rises above the normal range of 100 to 102.2 degrees."

Cats and dogs are more susceptible to heatstroke than humans. This is because they have far fewer sweat glands than we do and cannot regulate their body temperature through sweating.

Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting or breathing difficulties, drooling, lethargy, and weakness. Vomiting and diarrhea are also key warning signs of heatstroke in dogs and cats. Pets may also display symptoms like stumbling, sudden collapse, or even seizures.

It's very important to act immediately if you notice any signs of heatstroke. The AAHA recommends taking your pet inside and offering them a drink of cool (not cold) water if they show mild symptoms like panting or vomiting.

You should also take your pet's rectal temperature with a digital thermometer. If the reading is above 102.2 degrees, cover your pet in towels soaked in lukewarm water to lower their body temperature. Please refer to the AAHA's article for detailed, step-by-step instructions. If your pet's condition does not improve within 10 minutes, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs and Cats

The AAHA recommends taking the following measures to prevent heatstroke in dogs and cats:

  • Always make sure your pet has access to fresh water and shade
  • Limit your pet's time outside on hot days
  • Walk pets during cooler hours at dusk and dawn
  • Never leave pets unsupervised in the heat
  • Never leave your pet alone in a parked car

Additional Resources