Australian summers can get ridiculously hot. We've already covered ways to survive the heat for us humans, but let's not forget about our dear pets who can't exactly turn on the air conditioner while we're away from home. Here are a few tips to keep your pets cool this summer.
Cool dog image from Shutterstock
Keep Them Indoors
It's a no-brainer, but one of the best ways to protect your animal companions from the hot weather is to keep them inside. This is particularly important for smaller animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and birds because they're more susceptible to heat.
Tiled rooms such as the bathroom or laundry provide added insulation from the heat so if you'll want to keep them in those places.
Ice, Ice, Baby
If you really can't keep your pets indoors, consider leaving them with an ice pack or a frozen water bottle that they can lean against. For larger animals like dogs, you can even stash frozen fruit around the backyard for them to find and snack on. This keeps them entertained throughout the day and is a nice refreshing treat.
Be Mindful Of The Humidity
Noting the ambient temperature of the day is important but pet owners should take humidity into consideration as well.
"Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels — very quickly," Dr. Barry Kellogg, a veterinarian for the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.
Take extra precautions on days when humidity is high to prevent your pets from getting heat stroke.
Exercise Your Pet Early In The Morning Or Late At Night
This mainly applies to dogs although I've seen people walk their cats these days. If your pets need to be exercised, take them out for a stroll early in the morning or late at night, when it's a lot cooler.
Just Add Water
According to the RSPCA, wetting your pet's feet is a way to keep them cool. This method works for dogs, cats, ferrets, domesticated birds as they control their inner temperature through their feet.
For bird owners, just don't go drenching their whole body in water because they could potentially go into shock. Dog owners can set up a kiddie pool for them to wade through when the temperature gets really hot during the day.
Be sure to leave your pets with plenty of fresh, clean water so they can stay hydrated.
Do you have your own secret method that you use to keep your pets cool in the summer? Let us know in the comments.