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Keeping Dogs and Cats Cool in Summer

Published date: 29 February 2024

Summer brings the promise of beautiful walks, sunny picnics and time spent soaking up the sunshine with our furry friends. As the weather gets warmer there is much to look forward to.

However, it is important to be prepared and take steps to keep ourselves and our pets cool.

Keeping Dogs Cool

• Avoid Over Exercising!

If you are going on walks, avoid heavy exercise such as running or cycling with your dog. It is also essential to avoid walking during the hottest parts of the day.

Make sure you take water on every walk (for both you and your furry friend!) and stop for frequent rests.

However, as the temperature soars it is worth considering if your dog really needs that walk. According to the Met Office, in 2022 the UK officially had the hottest year on record. With the potential for us to reach sweltering highs again this year, the safest thing you can do is keep your dog at home.

• Provide Mental Enrichment

Many owners worry that without a walk, their dog is going to get bored. It is worth remembering that mental exercise is more tiring than physical exercise.

It is often the simplest activities that provide the most fun! Try scatter feeding your dog in the garden or in the household. Throw a handful of their kibble into the grass or scatter it around the living room and let them have fun sniffing it out.

Another enriching option is to provide your pooch with a delicious treat stuffed Frogg toy. Smear and stuff in delicious wet food and freeze the toy to make it more of a challenge.

Remember not all enrichment needs to be food based. Instead, you could hide toys around the house or garden for your dog to find.

• Use Cool Products

Even when not out walking, our dogs can be at risk of overheating. Invest in cool products to help keep your dog chilled throughout summer.

Pop out a Cool Pool in your garden and make it even more fun by adding some floating toys. If you have a hose or sprinkler, this can be a great source of amusement for both dogs and owners…

Cool Pads can also be a worthwhile investment. These clever pads work off body pressure to keep cool, just make sure you keep them out of direct sunlight.

• Make Ice Lollies!

Who doesn’t want a delicious ice lolly during a hot summer’s day? Of course, our ice lollies aren’t ideal for our canine companions, however it is easy to create a dog friendly iced treat.

  1. Mix some water into your dog’s favourite wet food. Pour this delicious (to dogs) mixture into a Frogg toy and freeze overnight. Pssst. This recipe can work for cats too, pop the mixture in a small shallow bowl.
  2. Add some dog friendly fruit and vegetables to an ice cube tray. Such as broccoli, carrots, blueberries, banana, and green beans. Just cut up into small bite sized pieces, add into an ice cube tray of your choice and wait for them to freeze.

• Keep your Dog and Cat Groomed

Regular grooming removes the loose undercoat, allowing air to flow easier between the skin and topcoat. This keeps our pet’s cooler and reduces itching.

For more help, check out our grooming blog.

For a professional summer groom, head over here to find your local Dogwood Natural Grooming Spa.

Keeping Cats Cool

Cats tend to enjoy soaking up the sun and can often be found sunbathing. Despite our felines loving the heat, it is still important keep them safe in the hot weather.

• Keep them Hydrated!

Cats don’t have a very high thirst drive, which can be a problem, especially during the sweltering temperatures. The key is to make water sources as appealing as possible and to provide multiple drinking/ hydrating opportunities for your cat.

Water Fountains are a worthwhile investment. As well as preferring moving water, cats will also notice the sound of a water fountain, which will entice them to drink. Remember to pop lots of bowls of water around the house as well, this will certainly increase the chance of your cat drinking.

Another tip is to increase the amount of wet food you give them. As wet food contains a high level of moisture this can be an easy (and delicious) way to hydrate your cat.

Much like our dogs, our feline friends can get a lot of joy out of ice cubes. To tempt them further you can add some juice from their wet food, or a little bone broth to water and then freeze. These ice cubes can be given on their own, or you can add them to their water fountain or bowls.

• Keep Cats Inside

Keep cats indoors during the hottest parts of the day. Cats are at risk of becoming trapped somewhere hot, walking on hot roads, or simply sunbathing for too long!

Much like dogs, cats can be entertained inside. Try playing with your cat early in the day or in the evening, when the temperature is cooler.

Enrichment can be easy to create, try simply cutting a few holes into the tops and sides of a shallow box. Then sprinkle some of their food or delicious treats into the box. An easy homemade interactive cat toy!

For advice on how to get the most out of your cats playtime, check out our Guide to Playing with Cats.

• Use Pet Safe Sun Cream

The sun can and does penetrate our pet’s fur and can cause sunburn, sun damage and even the risk of skin cancer.

Pet safe sun cream is a must have summer product! Unlike our sun cream, this has been formulated for use on pets. Protection is especially important for the delicate parts, such as the nose, muzzle, and tips of ears.

So, there you have it, some top tips for enjoying a safe and fun summer. Enjoy the weather, treat yourself to an ice cream and don’t forget to stay in the shade.