Is there anything more fun that playing outside with you dog during the summer? Add a sprinkler and you’ve got yourself a stock photograph!
In Malta, humidity frizzes your hair and temperatures hit 30 degrees celsius and more for days on end, it’s important to keep an eye on your pets. Being so furry without sweat glands, they feel the effects of heat fast and that can make them feel sluggish and ill.
Keep your pets cool and safe this summer by following these helpful tips:
Do not exercise during peak hours of sun.
In the summer, the best times to take your pets outside are in the early morning or late evening because it’s cooler out and there’s less direct sun. We have a lot of extremely hot days here in Malta so keep pets inside or in the shade since the risk of dehydration or heatstroke is much higher.
Hot pavements or asphalt can feel pretty warm on our feet or through our shoes, but they can easily burn pets’ paws. Make sure to take them out before sunrise or much later in the day and remember, always take water with you to keep them hydrated.
For pets with short, light-colored, or white coats (and ears), avoid direct sunlight to prevent getting sunburned when playing outside. Breeds with shorter noses tend to have difficulty breathing, so take it easy during their daily walks.
Coping with high humidity levels.
Animals are different to humans since they sweat through their paws and pant through their mouths to keep cooler.
Panting allows them to remove the moisture from their lungs, which cools down their body. If humidity levels are too high (always during summer in Malta!!), animals can’t cool off their body, which can cause health issues.
We have high humidity in summer so keep your pets hydrated and make sure they drink water throughout the day.
Make sure they have plenty of protection and shade from the sun.
If you keep pets outdoors, make sure they have plenty of protection from the heat and sun. Big trees and patios with large awnings/shades provide ample sun protection for pets. Leave lots of cold water outside for them to drink and drop some ice cubes in their bowls to make their water extra cold.
Even with shade, pets can become overheated, especially during a heat wave and we have plenty of those here in Malta! Bring pets inside where it’s cool and safe for them.
Paddling pools can be your pet’s oasis.
When the temperatures soar, pets love to cool off in refreshing water. If you have a garden or terrace, fill up a shallow, plastic kids paddling pool with water and let your pet splash around or lie down in the water. It’s adorable to watch, great for your pet, and will probably make a hilarious viral video.
If you have a swimming pool, make sure your dog knows how to swim and can safely exit the pool. If you take your dog to one of the dog safe beaches in Malta, supervise your pets at all times and be sure they do not wander from the shore or out of your sight.
Pets and heatstroke.
These are some of the signs your pet may be suffering from heatstroke:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive water consumption
If you think your pet is experiencing heatstroke, quickly move them into a cool or air-conditioned place. Apply cold ice packs or towels to their head, neck, and chest or put your pet in the bath and gently run cool, not cold, water over their body.
Never take chances . If your pets show signs of physical distress, particularly if they have seizures or lose consciousness, immediately take them to your vet or local emergency animal clinic.