Welcome to The Cool Down, Hunker's definitive guide for staying cool, calm, and collected all summer long.
While we aim fans at our faces or blast the A/C on high, it's important to remember that our pets also feel the heat of summer days. If you want to help keep them cool, there are a few products out there that can offer some relief.
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Keep reading to see how you can help make hotter days easier for your furry companion.
Help your pooch settle down after a hot walk with a cooling pad. While you might be tempted to give them ice after a romp outdoors, it's not the best choice. "They can choke on cubes if ingested, damage their teeth if crunched, and ice should never be used in an attempt to cool off a dog suffering from heatstroke," Erin Askeland, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, pet expert at Camp Bow Wow tells Hunker.
Askeland suggests that dog owners consider "a sun shirt that provides UPF protection" that is also lightweight (UPF, also known as Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is the system that rates clothing items used for sun protection). Alternatively, try a cooling collar or bandana.
Make sure your pooch stays hydrated wherever you are. Askeland says a collapsible water bowl is "a necessity for keeping cool in the summer months." They're especially useful for their versatility since "they fold flat, but are still inviting for a dog to drink from."
While you settle into your own hammock, give your pup a cool option, too. Askeland says cots with a mesh material are "great for hot weather because they allow for airflow beneath the dog."
You can grab a cooling mat for your feline friends, too. Allegra Ringo, Editor at our sister site Cuteness, says this particular one can work for either dogs or cats. "Small fans placed near your cat's favorite spots are also very effective," Ringo says.
Word to the wise though: "Definitely do not give your cat a cold bath (or any bath at all, unless they need one for a specific reason)! They will hate it, it won't work, and frankly, you might not survive the encounter."
"Cats sweat through their paws," Ringo says. "But this mechanism isn't very effective for keeping cool, because they don't have very many sweat glands. So to keep cool in hot weather, your cat may groom herself more often, pant, or seek out cool places, like shaded areas or floor tiles." You can also lend them a hand by investing in a deshedding tool.