Now that the warm months are here, you’re excited about getting off those heavy sweaters, turning off the thermostats, and going for those long-anticipated walks in the warmth of the sun. But guess what, it also calls for paying extra attention to your pets.
As the weather gets warm, watching your pets closely becomes important, so you don’t expose them to the risk of a heat stroke. While you’re excited about getting into the summer air and taking long walks with your pets, you need to be sure that your dog is not getting adversely affected by that. To protect your dog, it’s important to make ready the best means to cool your dogs while you enjoy summer. This way, you make summer enjoyable for you and your pets.
Various Methods of Pet Cooling
Pets, especially dogs, may find it challenging to regulate their body temperature like humans do. This is why you must be intentional about ensuring that your pet is at optimal temperature using the right methods. It’s also important to follow through on the breed of your pet to be sure that the methods are right for them.
- Using Ice:
There are various ways to cool your pets, however, if you have ice handy, you can save yourself a bit of expenses. While ice can be beneficial for your pets, it has to be used with great care. When pets like dogs get dehydrated or suffer a heat stroke, you’ll risk their health by placing ice directly in contact with the pet’s skin. This is because its body can’t handle the sudden temperature and can lead to the same adverse effect as heat stroke. Use the methods discussed below to use ice to cool your pets creatively.
- Use a cooling pad:
Store-bought cooling pads are designed with cooling techniques to ensure that your pets have a cool surface to lie on when the weather gets too hot. Some cooling pads are handy enough to travel with or store in a backpack. Hence, you can easily lay it out for your pet to rest in a shade, once you notice abnormal panting or that the pavement is too hot for your animal.
- Use a cooling vest:
With a cooling vest, you can help your animal keep cool in the hot summer. These vests often have compartments where you can store water that will help your animal keep cool when the weather gets too hot for it.
- Other cooling methods:
To avoid your animal getting exposed to intense heat, ensure that you only take walks during cool evenings and mornings. Ensure that you avoid the high temp hours of the day. While you are home, don’t leave your pet to wander around without access to shade or clean water. If you’ve trained your pet to swim, take it for a supervised swim as frequently as possible, or make a bowl of water available for your animal to splatter in. Additionally, you could give your pet a frozen treat of dog ice cream to cool it down.
Creative ways to use Ice for pets
During summer, you’ll find your ice maker handy both for you and your pets. You can creatively incorporate ice into your summer cooling plans for your pet in various ways. Here are simple ways to safely use ice for your pets.
- Ice towel:
Get a bowl of water and pour in some ice, deep a towel into it, so it soaks in the coolness of the ice. Take out the towel after some minutes and wring it, then place it over your pet. Repeat the process till the pet is cool. Here’s an ice towel/neck wrap review from a user, Blair:
“I took my pup on his first hike this week and he did really well with this cooling neck wrap. Summertime is rough for my Boston terrier because of the heat but this neck wrap probably doubled the time he could be outside. I don’t think it would stay cold for long in very hot weather but for this low 80s overcast day in the mountains, he was able to hike for about 2 hours with some breaks.”
- Create a cool breeze using ice and a fan:
If you have a pet-friendly fan, use it to move air around the room. When the indoor temps are so warm, even the fan blows hot air. Keep the breeze cool by placing some blocks of ice directly opposite the fan. This will help the fan distribute the coolness of the fan around the room and keep the space cool.
- Use ice to make cool drinking water:
Pets have different levels of tolerance to chilled water, hence it’s not advisable to give your pet chilled water from the fridge directly. With ice cubes from an ice maker, you can determine how many ice cubes will be good enough to make safe chilled water for your pet to drink. This way, the pet can cool down safely, while drinking cool water from its water dish without risks.
- Foot baths with ice:
Get some ice into a bowl of warm water to make it slightly chilled. When all the ice melts off, make your dog stand in it with its paws. This is one of the ways to cool down a dog, as the dog can cool off easily with its paws in water.
Benefits of using ice to cool pets
Here of some benefits of cooling pets with ice.
- Cheap and available:
Ice cubes are often handy and available to use in the home, especially if you have an ice maker. You won’t have to spend extra cash on buying other dog cooling materials.
- Great preventive measure:
Consistently using the methods above to keep your pet cool can help to prevent heatstroke and dehydration for your pet. Ultimately saving you the expense that comes with curative care.
Precautions and risks
- When using the fan and ice to cool your dog, ensure that you don’t make it face your dog directly. Doing this can make the pet consume excessive amounts of air and can cause complications for your pet.
- Never allow your dog to waddle in ice baths—water with blocks of ice in it, especially when it's already suffering a heat stroke. It could lead to further problems, as the system of the dog can’t handle the sudden temperature change.
- According to an Insider interviewwith Vet. Dr. Jason Nicholas of Preventive Vet, it is dangerous to let your dog chomp on ice as a way to keep them cool. It could lead to broken dog teeth, that could become infectious, he explained. It’s safer to give your dog cold water, or frozen dog-safe veggies to cool them down.
- Never use ice packs in directly on your pet’s skin, for the same reason as the above.
Caring for your pet is essential as you enjoy the arrival of summer. Ensure to use ice safely and wisely to help your pet cool down in hot weather and follow the precautions to avoid any of the risks stated above.