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Purina Beyond

6 Ways to Keep Your Pets Cool During Summer


Enjoy summer with your furry friend—safely.

Longer walks, more trips to the dog park, naps in the sun, less time stuck inside--summer can be a great time for dogs and cats. But with more summer fun can come more risks. Find out how a few easy tricks can keep the season safe for you and your pet.

1. Always bring water with you on walks or trips (portable water dispensers are crucial).

Stay as hydrated as physically possible! Not only will you get more out of your exercise, but dehydration is a huge safety risk to both you and your pet. To test if your pet is properly hydrated, either gently pinch the skin on the loose skin at the back of his neck (it should snap back into place within about two seconds), or check his gums (they should be shiny and moist, not dry or tacky). If your pet has not urinated in a long time, this may be another warning sign. Though you likely don't walk your cat, certainly make sure to bring along water whenever you are traveling--they need to stay hydrated, too!

2. Keep their fur groomed and short.

Time to ditch those winter coats. Though your pet may have already started shedding more as the seasons changed, take them to the groomer to get an even closer trim--they'll be grateful and look great, too! If you're trying to cut down on spending, however, your own scissors will be just fine. Just remember to bathe them first to get rid of tangles and clumps, and comb them out when you dry off, too.

3. Make sure they have a cool, hard surface to lay down on inside.

If you're sticking your head in the freezer on a hot day, imagine how your pets feel! Whether you're in the house that day or not, always leave the air conditioning on for them, which should keep most surfaces bearable. But feel around to see which surfaces are trapping heat in your home. Dogs love tile, so don't be surprised to see them lying around kitchens or bathrooms. Though cats are big sunbathers, they'll also crave some shade when they get hot. Make sure there are some cooler spots for them to seek out.

4. If your pet likes water, go for a swim.

It's called the "doggy paddle" for a reason! This is not only a great way to cool off, but it can keep you and your dog fit too. You can join them in the water, or stand a ways out and play fetch. (Just remember: depending on where you swim or how good of a swimmer your dog is, however, you might not want to bring expensive dog toys along.) Most cats don't like the water, so place a cool wet towel on their belly to cool them down.

5. Dogs also love to dig to avoid heat. Let them get dirty and have fun!

As long as you're not in, say, a park where this is explicitly prohibited, there's no harm in a little digging. The dirt feels cool on a hot day, and as long as the dog isn't becoming dehydrated, you don't need to intervene. Leave them to play, while you both enjoy the nice summer day--then give them a bath.

6. Make catsicles!

Simply puts your cat's wet food in a plastic cup and freeze overnight. In the morning, remove it from the cup and put it in your cat's bowl. Now he has a cold meal to enjoy!

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