It’s a summer of extremes, isn’t it? We’ve had some of the hottest weather I’ve experienced alongside epic thunderstorms and driving rain. It’s been rather uncomfortable for us humans, so I can only imagine how my fluffy cats are coping in the heat. Here are some hacks for helping your pets to stay safe and happy during both sunshine and storms…
I know that some pets can become skittish and scared during extreme weather. Booming thunder can confuse them and flashes of lightening can be terrifying. So it’s no wonder that they cower, hide and sometimes even have accidents on the carpet! Storms can be pretty scary for humans too, and pets don’t even understand what’s going on, so no wonder they become frightened. There are a few ways you can help your pets during storms.
Firstly, you can be there for them to reassure them that everything is okay. Just like you would do on bonfire night, try to soothes them with strokes and talk to them in calm tones. This will help to train your pet to understand that they are safe. You can find some of the best training resources for dogs online to help with this and you can offer treats to reinforce their good behaviour. Simply comforting your cat by letting them lay on your lap can be enough to keep them calm. Over time, they’ll come to realise that storms are no threat to them.
If they happen to have a ‘little accident’ indoors during a storm, try not to be upset or angry. The best thing you can do is give them more love and attention to calm them down. Carpets can be cleaned and tiles can be mopped so just get yourself a good pet stain and odour remover product, like the one Mrs Hinch uses, and tackle the mess without too much fuss.
The heat is going to affect all pets differently, depending on their breed (and probably he amount of fur they are wearing!) so it’s a good idea to look up suggestions for caring for your specific dog or cat online. I have two very fluffy cats so my experience is based on looking after them.
I give them a thorough grooming to try to help them shed their fur in the summer. This means that I’m taking their excess fluff away rather than them grooming and swallowing it, which can lead to hairballs. I have a tool called The Furminator that helps me to do this, and I think it’s available for dogs too. At the very least, grooming them helps to lighten the load of their fur and might make them feel a little cooler in the summer.
I also like to give my pets somewhere cool to lie down and sleep. We sometimes dampen an old towel with cold water and leave it in the bathroom to give them a cool spot to rest. You could also put a towel in the fridge to cool it down (I’ve done this for myself before and it’s lovely) and drape it over them while they sit or sleep. I’ve seen little coats for dogs that can be chilled so the cold towel is a thrifty alternative.
If your pets are going outside in the heat, make sure they can escape from the sun when they need to. There are plenty of shaded parts of our garden where I find my cat Cookie sleeping under the bench or bushes. If you have a very sunny garden it’s a good idea to put up a sail or parasol to ensure that they can still go outside and stay in the shade.
One thing I read a while ago is that it’s possible for pets to burn their paws on the hot ground. I suppose it’s a little like walking across hot sand for us humans, but I bet that tarmac and concrete get much, much hotter! Try to only walk dogs in the early morning or evening when the ground isn’t too hot – and apparently there’s a test you can do to check if it’s too hot to walk your dog. Hold the back of your hand to the ground for seven seconds and if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Walking your do on grass will be much nicer for them and you can even buy little boots to protect their paws.
Let me know what other tips you have for looking after your pets on hot days and during scary storms. I’d love to hear how your pet copes in these weather extremes and what hacks you use to make it better for them. Please pop a comment below with your ideas 🙂
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