Keeping Pets Cool

In this weather, it's not just us humans suffering. Fur kids need attention too - although they don't always appreciate it. Here are a few top tips of how to maintain your pets optimum temperature.

I know it is obvious, that animals feel the heat, but their bodies are smaller and don't always deal with it as well. I debated whether to write this article as there is so much information out there already. However, I have had the experience this week and found what has and hasn't worked.

  • Shade - yes I know the cat likes to lay in the hot sun, but it will need somewhere to go to cool down. It is best to keep the curtains drawn in their favourite room so it doesn't heat up.
  • Windows - sometimes it is best to keep them closed. This is true in our old cold house: If I open windows it gets warmer in here.
  • Fans - these can help but don't angle them at the pets. Create drafts if you can. In our old house it means leaving internal doors open.
  • Food Bowls - use ceramic bowls with large surface areas to keep the food cooler for longer.
  • Hydrating - Pets won't always drink so I put a drop of water on the wet food which she will drink. (Too much water and she refuses to eat though.) If your pet eats wet and dry food, best to give wet food in hot weather. Not always nice with the smell, but it has a higher water content and is an easier way of getting water into the cat.
  • Water Bowls - again larger, ceramic bowls are best as they take longer to warm up. Pets don't usually like cold water but the bowl will stop it from getting too warm. Make sure it is a full as possible. This means the animal doesn't have to put their head far in the bowl, and the temperature will be maintained in a larger amount than in a little bit. Putting a few ice cubes in it can create interest in the water and encouraging the pet to drink.
  • Running water - some cats prefer to drink from running water so you can get water fountains for them. Perhaps, if they prefer it from a tap, run it for them. Alternative, if you have a pond, make sure you keep it topped up as that is always a top choice of beverage for any discerning cat.
  • Bedding - more of a case of having bedding that can keep cool such as a cool mat. These bizarrely stay cool when warm bodies are on them. These can be purchased from pet shops, random shops such as B and M or Amazon. You can get smaller ones for travelling. If the pet doesn't use them, I've found they are useful for if I have a migraine.
  • Bedding surface - if you have tiled floor this is great for pets. They have the option to lie on a cooler surface then. For smaller caged pets such as rats or even rabbits, put a tile (or part of one) in their enclosure. I have put a brick in my rats cage before which they loved. These can be put in the fridge first to make them cooler. (Don't put it in freezer as the cold can also burn animals.)
  • Grooming - as well as keeping the fur tangle free, it means the fur can stand on end letting heat escape the body.
  • Cars - don't leave pets in cars. Don't take pets out if you can help it.
  • Walks - no, if it is hot for you, imagine how hot it is on the pavement for their delicate paws.

More Detailed Information Sources

Would like more information? I've searched a few pages to find the best information available for you.

Cats Protection has a page about how to look after cats in this heat. The Blue Cross has great information about keeping dogs cool and also information relevant for rabbits and guinea pigs. Last, but not least, don't forget about your little furry animals. This page is describes what to do for rats but is relevant for hamsters and mice too.

You can lead a horse to water...

Although saying all this, you can try to hep the animals but they may not appreciate it! Last year Ginger loved her cool mat and sat on it all the time. The first photo shows her on it the first day it was out. She would only put her front two paws. The second photo was the next day when she would put her chin as well as her front paws on it. A few days later she had all her body on it.

Perhaps I would have more luck if I put a new plastic bag in the freezer for her? She always loves a new bag to sleep on. Will try that later.

Ginger on Cool Mat

Ginger Cat on Cool Mat

If you have got any other ideas on keeping cool, please let me know.