Summer’s high heat and humidity spell trouble for pets and people alike. While it means different things to different folks, when we apply a healthy dose of prevention, we’re all better off. As far as animals are concerned, it’s vitally important that they stay out of direct heat and always have access to fresh, cool water. To promote their well-being during the season’s hottest days, we have a few ideas for deliciously cool pet treats. Bon(e) appetit!
Responding to Heat
Dogs and cats pant in reaction to climbing temperatures, but it’s not the most effective method of losing body heat. They can sort of perspire through their paw pads and skin surface, but not like humans can. As a result, heat is retained by the body and can lead to a dangerously elevated body temperature, or hyperthermia.
Flat-faced animals, young pets, seniors, those overweight, and ill pets are at greater risk due to their inability to regulate body temperature.
Just short of keeping your pet in a temperature controlled environment 24 hours a day, there are ways to promote their health while keeping up with their routine. For instance:
- Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Walk them in the early morning and evening hours, avoid asphalt and hot concrete, and pause often for rests in the shade.
- Never leave them in a parked car. Temperatures can soar into the triple digits within minutes, exposing them to the dangers of heat stroke.
- Play in the water, but be mindful of the risks. Provide a lifejacket for your pet and watch their every move carefully.
Cool Pet Treats
One of the easiest (and tastiest!) ways to help your pet through the hot summer days is preparing and giving them frozen treats. This is not only fun for them, but you are also going the extra mile toward healthy hydration. Approximately 70-80% of a dog’s body mass is water. When they lose 10%, they could be in big trouble.
There’s no end to the wonders of cool pet treats. Get creative and use ingredients you know your pet loves. We recommend any combinations of the following:
- DIY pet popsicles – Purchase your own silicone molds, or simply fill waxy paper cups with low-sodium broth. Add kibble, chewies, cheese, peanut butter blobs, healthy fruits and veggies, or bacon. Freeze. Similarly, you can blend these ingredients together for a nice slushie.
- Ice cream interpretation – There are commercially available doggie ice cream brands out there. If you want a down-home approach, mix plain yogurt with pumpkin, banana, peanut butter, or strawberries. Blend and freeze into molds for easy portions and clean-up.
- Frozen and crunchy – Easy and simple, frozen chunks of watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, pears, apples, and berries are wonderfully cool pet treats any afternoon. Likewise, increase your pet’s veggies by steaming any variety of greens before blending them and turning them into crunchy ice cubes. Yum!
- Freezer Kong – Fill your pet’s Kong with any treat they prefer and freeze it up! They’ll love the challenge of licking at it until it’s completely gone.
While cool pet treats are meant to offer more hydration during the dog days of summer, they should never include harmful ingredients. Please avoid raisins, grapes, chocolate, nuts, pitted fruits, fatty meats, bones, and more.
Please contact us with any questions or concerns this summer. We hope your pet enjoys their cool pet treats!