5 tips to keep your pets safe from the summer heat

Keeping your pet cool during the summer is essential. Cats, dogs, rabbits and birds—in other words, virtually all domesticated animals—are vulnerable to the ill effects of excessive heat. At Chico, our animal specialists are highly knowledgeable of the various ways to prevent heat stroke and dehydration in pets. Read on for our top five tips.

1. Never leave your pet in your car on a hot day, even in the shade, even if the window is cracked and even if it’s just for ten minutes! The temperature inside your car can get dangerously high in mere minutes on a hot day, putting your pet’s health, and even its life, at risk.

2. Choose the right time to bring your dog outside—usually early in the morning or during the evening. Avoid walking your four-legged friend between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at all costs, as the sun is at its strongest during this period. Always make sure to give your dog water at regular intervals during your walks. Bonus points if Fido gets his own insulated bottle!

3. Make sure your pet has unrestricted access to water and to a shady spot where it can seek shelter from the sun. If your pet lives in a cage or other enclosure, keep it in a cool, well-ventilated area at all times. Most importantly, avoid placing a caged animal in direct sunlight, as its living quarters could quickly become dangerously hot.

4. Always test surface temperatures before letting your pet put its paws on the ground. It’s easy to forget how dangerous hot asphalt or sand can be for your pet’s paw pads. To avoid injuring your companion, place the palm of your hand on the ground; if you can comfortably keep it there for 30 seconds, it should be safe for your pet to walk on.

5. If your pet starts to overheat, cool it down the good old-fashioned way. Simply wet a bath mitt with cold water and use it to gently pat down your pet’s fur. In case you were wondering, the worst way to refresh a hot animal is by giving it an ice-cold bath—this could trigger a dangerous thermal shock.

Follow these guidelines to maximize your chances of spending a safe, snag-free summer with your pet. Until then, swing by your nearest Chico pet store to find a wide selection of quality items to pamper your favourite four-legged friend.