The summertime can be tough on our pets. The heat and humidity can make them uncomfortable and even put their health at risk. But there are ways to help keep your furry friends cool and comfortable all summer.
1. Keep Them Hydrated
Many people believe that animals are affected mainly by the weather in winter when they need extra support to keep warm. However, animals can also suffer from the heat in summer.
Like humans, animals lose water through sweating and panting and need to replace fluids to prevent dehydration. Water helps to regulate an animal’s body temperature. When an animal is adequately hydrated, its sweat evaporates quickly, helping to cool the body.
Conversely, if an animal is dehydrated, its sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly, leading to a rise in body temperature. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure your animals have access to fresh, clean water during summer.
2. Understand Symptoms of Heatstroke
Animals can suffer from heatstroke just like humans, and to prevent it, it is vital to be aware of the signs. Symptoms of heatstroke in animals include heavy panting, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness, and collapse.
If you see any of these signs, take action immediately. The best way to cool animals down is to immerse them in cool water, such as a pool or bucket. You should also move them into the shade and apply cool towels to their body.
If they show signs of dehydration, give them small sips of water. If their condition does not improve or they start vomiting, you should take them to the vet immediately.
3. Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
When the weather outside is warm, it’s tempting to want to take your pet along for the ride. However, it’s important to remember that cars can heat up quickly, even on mild days.
When temperatures rise, the inside of a car can become dangerously hot, making it a hazardous place for your pet. In minutes, the temperatures can quickly rise to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to heatstroke or even death.
If you must take your pet with you, park in the shade and crack the windows to provide ventilation.
4. Reduce Exercise in Hot Weather
Going slow on exercises might seem counterintuitive, but strenuous activity can raise your animal’s body temperature, leading to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
Instead of taking them for a long walk or run, try shorter, more frequent outings, or opt for gentler activities like swimming. You should also avoid exercising in the middle of the day when it’s hottest. Stick to cooler morning or evening hours, and be sure to give your animal plenty of water breaks to prevent dehydration.
5. Groom Them Regularly and Properly
Grooming your pet is important not only for their appearance but also for their health. Grooming your pet correctly in the summer months is imperative to help them stay cool.
First, brush their coat thoroughly to remove any loose hair. Brushing will help reduce shedding and keep the pet’s coat from getting matted.
Next, give them a cool bath using a mild shampoo. Avoid using hot water because this can dry out their skin. Finally, be sure to trim their nails and clean their ears.
6. Don’t Depend on Fans
While running fans may provide some relief from the heat, they are not the best way to cool pets. Fans work by circulating air, which can help evaporate sweat and reduce body temperature. However, they are not powerful enough to lower the air’s temperature.
Pets sweat with the help of their paw pads and through their mouths. The air from a fan will not reach these areas and will not help your pet cool down. Combine fans with other cooling methods, such as air conditioning, to help your pet stay cool this summer.
7. Ensure Your AC Unit Is Working
If you have central air conditioning, ensure it’s in good working condition before the hot weather hits. The last thing you want is for your unit to break down when you need it most.
You can do a few things to keep your AC unit running all summer. First, make sure to change the filter regularly. A clogged filter can cause the unit to overwork and break down.
Second, keep the area around the unit clean and clear of debris. Third, have the unit serviced by a professional at least once a year. Servicing will help identify potential problems before they become more significant.
Fourth, invest in a good thermostat. A quality thermostat will help to regulate the temperature in your home and prevent the AC unit from working overtime.
Finally, open up the vents in each room using the air conditioner. Blocked vents can cause the unit to overheat and break down.
When your home is cool and comfortable, your pet will be too. If you’re worried your AC is not in good working condition, reach out to Fusion Plumbing & Air in Tucson, AZ, for AC repair, maintenance, or replacement.
8. Control Humidity
Most pets are comfortable at a humidity level between 30% and 50%. If the humidity in your home is higher than this, it can make your pet uncomfortable and even lead to health problems.
Pets pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which helps to cool their body temperature. However, when the air is saturated with moisture, they cannot pant effectively. This can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce the humidity in your home and keep your pet cool and comfortable. One way to do this is to use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers work by pulling moisture out of the air, and they can be very effective at reducing humidity levels.
Another way to reduce humidity is to open the windows and doors on days when the weather is dry. Dry air will enter the home and help to lower the overall humidity level.
Finally, keep the area around your pet clean and dry. Wet floors and surfaces can increase the humidity in the home.
9. Protect Their Paws
Hot pavement is one of the most common summertime hazards for pets. The pavement can get very hot during the day, making it painful for your pet to walk on.
To protect your pet’s paws, avoid walking them during the day when the pavement is hottest. If you must walk them during the day, keep the walks short, and avoid hot surfaces such as asphalt and concrete.
You can also put booties or socks on your pet’s feet to help protect their paws from the heat. Booties and socks will provide a barrier between your pet’s paws and the hot pavement.
10. Prepare a Cool Bed
Your pet will appreciate a cool and comfortable bed to relax in during the summer months. There are several ways to keep their bed cool and comfortable.
One way to do this is to use a cooling mat. Cooling mats are filled with gel or water and can help to reduce your pet’s body temperature.
Another way to keep your pet’s bed cool is to place it in a cool, shady spot. Avoid placing the bed in direct sunlight because this will make it too hot for your pet to use.
Finally, you can use a fan to create a cooling effect. Place the fan so that it’s blowing directly onto the bed.
Keep Your Animals Cool With a Working AC Unit
There’s no better way to keep your pet cool than having a functioning AC unit in your home. If your unit is not in good working condition, reach out to a professional for AC repair, maintenance, or replacement.
At Fusion Plumbing & Air in Tucson, AZ, we’re not only experts in AC. We also provide a wide range of heating and plumbing services. We offer 24/7 repairs for emergency situations, and our team of NATE-certified technicians is ready to help you with all your HVAC needs.
Contact Fusion Plumbing & Air today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.