I’m a bit late with this article, but I’m strongly suggesting to the weather Gods to keep summer going for at least a few more months and delay winter for as long as possible ????. So, if my wishes are granted, your animals will still be able to benefit from this information.
#1: Keep the air conditioning on in your house while you’re out of the house. They sport a lot more hair than we do and would appreciate the cooler temperatures for better relaxation and sleep. If you don’t have A/C, you can aim a fan at the area they like to lay on. If your dog lives outside make sure there is plenty of shade available. Cool and moist spots under bushes are some of my friends’ favorite places to snooze. Especially for horses suffering from anhydrosis, misting fans are a great option.
#2: Give them access to cool water. Adding some ice cubes and feeding their food cold is usually appreciated as well. You can also freeze a large block of ice and leave it in the shade for your animal.
#3: Cooling Foods: The Chinese group foods into temperature categories. Ginger or lamb for example are considered hot foods while melons (water melon in particular), cucumbers and coconut water are used to support the body during the heat of the summer. If you provide your animal with foods that are in season you will automatically support their bodies. Leafy greens, avocados, berries and peppermint have cooling properties as well. Of course don’t over due the sweet produce.
#4: Exercise them early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures have cooled down. If you have a water dog, you’ll certainly bring a smile to their faces by taking them swimming or turning on a hose. If you have access to water for your horse a swim might just make their day.
#5: Cooling beds are also available to keep your animals’ body temperature down. Alternately cots provide good ventilation also. If you have a cool, safe and mold-free (!) basement you might also consider giving them access to that.
#6: Give your dog a hair cut. There are a lot of contradictory opinions on that subject. Ultimately, you may leave it up to your dog to show you its preference by trying the long and short coat version. Just be careful with sun exposure and short hair, because they can get sun burned.
#7: It goes without saying that you should NEVER leave you pet in the car EVEN with the windows open even for “just a minute”. Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can climb to 100 in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.