How to keep your pets summer safe

My cats always want to go outside. I don’t let them stray around the neighborhood; they go on leashes at our back porch. 
I have let them walk around like this since the were wee little kittens so they are used to it - except for the occasional escape, thankfully they are too chicken to go far.
 After depriving them from going outside in the cold winter; me spending months hearing them beg and scratch at the door asking to go outside, I am finally able to let them out. 

They can spend hours outside, watching birds, eating grass, enjoying the sunny weather. I want to make sure they are safe from heat stroke or any other summer  issues.

Here are some tips on keeping your pets safe in the summer heat:

Keep Well Hydrated 

Whether your pet is indoors or out, keeping them supplied with plenty of clean fresh water should be at the top of your list during extreme heat. Skip the pricey cooling water dishes if your pet is outdoors. Just make sure you replenish their water supply often, as it can evaporate quickly. Keeping dishes in the shade and adding ice cubes can also help keep your pet's water cool on the cheap. Do not use an expensive metal bowl outdoors, as it can quickly make the water hot and undrinkable.

Cool Down 

Cats and dogs have a limited ability to cool themselves, having sweat glands only in their footpads. Making matters worse, fur coats can trap heat close to their body causing them to overheat. Pets depend on their owners to lend a hand in cooling them down when the mercury rises. Forgo the expensive cooling mats and opt instead for frugal fixes like a kiddie pool filled with water. Keeping pets indoors with fans or air conditioning is another inexpensive option. No air conditioning? A basement makes the perfect hot weather retreat for your pet. Treat your pet to cool and refreshing ice cubes or a frugal pet-friendly homemade popsicle. Mix some peanut butter with half a mashed banana. Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze.

Give them a Haircut 

Trimming your pet's fur can help them better regulate their body temperature in sweltering weather. No need to hire an expensive groomer, simply use a pair of sharp scissors to remove excess hair. Take care however not to clip their coat too closely to their skin, as this leaves your pet vulnerable to sunburn.

Outdoor Shade 

In order to stay safe during a heat wave, pets need protection from heat and sun. While a doghouse or other pricey enclosures certainly provide relief from the sun's rays, heat is still a concern. In fact, the temperatures inside a doghouse can quickly reach heatstroke levels. Great frugal outdoor sources of shade for pets include trees, bushes, your patio or beach umbrella or a sheet stretched between two trees.

Keep them Home 

Running errands during the warm summer months? Leave your furry friends at home. Even a few minutes in a parked car with the windows cracked can be fatal for your pet. It takes only 30 minutes on a 30C day for the temperature inside a car to reach close to 45C. Park your car in the sun and it takes only minutes for the interior to reach 70C. At such high temperatures animals may experience heatstroke, irreversible organ damage or death.

Curb the Exercise 

During a heat wave, limit your pet's exercise in both duration and intensity. Change that daily biking session or run with your dog into a walk and keep it under ten minutes. Exercise animals only in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. Always walk your dog on grass or soil, never asphalt or sand which can become very hot and cause blistering of footpads.

Know the Signs of Heatstroke 

Despite your best efforts, pets can still suffer heatstroke. Knowing the signs and acting promptly can save your pet. Signs of heatstroke include heavier than usual panting, restlessness, glazed eyes, excessive thirst, lack of coordination, lethargy, vomiting, excessive salivation, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fever, a deep red or purple tongue or gums and unconsciousness. If your pet has any of these symptoms, contact a veterinarian immediately. Move your pet to a shady or air-conditioned room. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest. Cool towels can also be applied to their paws, but never apply ice to paws as it can cause frostbite. You can also shower them in cool, not cold, water and let them drink small amounts of water.

Hope your pets are summer safe this summer season :)
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