Dog Days of Summer: Ways to Keep Your Pets Cool

It’s pretty hot in Philly during this time of year. In fact, August is known as the dog days of summer. As you work to keep yourself cool, remember that you need to help your pets stay cool, too. Try these fun, easy ideas to help your pets beat the heat.

August is known as the dog days of summer. And if you think you feel hot in Philadelphia at this time of year, well, think about your pets! Your cat or dog gets to wear their warm, furry coat year-round. Try these fun ideas to help your pets beat the heat.

Choose Walk Times Smartly

Dog days of summer or not, it’s still a good idea to walk your pooch. It’s good exercise for your dog, and also for you! But be wise about when you walk. If you walk in the early morning or evening, you’ll enjoy cooler temperatures than if you walk in the middle of the day, when sunshine — and the temperature — is at its peak.

Also, when the weather is hot, don’t overdo it by taking your pet on longer-than-usual walks. And remember to keep yourself and your dog hydrated, especially on hot days — consider investing in a doggie water bottle to take with you on your walks.

Create a Chilled-Out Sunny Spot

Cats — and some dogs, too — love to soak up the sun. Open your blinds or curtains and see where the sun hits your floor. Then, create a cozy sunny spot for your pet. You could place a pet bed, cushion, or just a soft blanket or towel there for them to lay in and soak up some rays. But while they’re enjoying the sun’s warmth, be sure to keep the area cool for your pet by turning on the air conditioning or a fan, and keeping a water bowl nearby.

Hold a Backyard Sprinkler Party

Make your backyard cooler for everyone by setting up a sprinkler to run through. Family and friends of all ages will enjoy putting on their swimsuits and running through the sprinkler. Bring your dog out to join you in the sprinkler party. You could even bring one of his favorite toys to throw through the sprinkler’s water streams, encouraging your dog to jump through and get wet and cool.

Create Shade Outdoors

If you’re going to have your pets outside in the yard for any length of time, be sure to create some outdoor shade for them. Planting trees and other shrubbery can help create shade, or you could install awnings or patio umbrellas. Sure, pets might love running around in the sunshine for a little while, but when they get hot, it’s a good idea to provide them with cool, shady spots to chill out in. Make sure to bring a water bowl outside too, so your pet won’t get dehydrated.

Go on a Cool Outing

If home is where the hotness is, take your dog on a fun local outing. There are plenty of Philly-area dog parks — plus there are also dog-friendly hiking trails as well as dog-friendly tours! All of these options help get you and your pooch out into nature, and you’ll be having so much fun together you might even forget about the heat!

Create the Illusion of Cool

One great way to add some coolness to your home is by adding an aquarium. Whether you get a one-gallon goldfish bowl or a ten-gallon aquarium filled with colorful fish, its presence can give the impression of cool. It also makes for great “Cat TV” — your kitty will likely be very watchful of, and entertained by, the fish.

What other ways do you help your pets keep cool during the dog days of summer? Leave your ideas in the comments section below!

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Nikki Hess, a Philadelphia native, graduated cum laude from Dickinson College in 2003, where she majored in English and minored in creative writing. Since then, she has worked in the radio, beauty, and newspaper industries, racking up a diverse set of skills, experience, and titles. In addition to writing her first thriller series and various freelance projects, Nikki is currently a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for a leading health advocacy company in suburban Philadelphia. 

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