Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tips on keeping their paws cool

Germany hasn't had that bad of heat so for this Summer.. until now. Tubbles is having a real problem with it and since Germany doesn't use AC, I have to find other ways to keep baby cool. So this is what I have come up with that I wanted to share with every one else who has the same problem.

For Cats!
A cat that becomes overheated in summer can suffer from dehydration, shallow breathing, and can even get heatstroke. Keeping your cat cool is an important part of ensuring that he/she enjoys a safe and happy summer, especially if there's a heat wave.
Cool your cat down with dampened towels. Most cats don't like getting wet but you can at least help cool their fur down a little with dampened towels. Simply dampen a cloth or paper towel and gently stroke your cat with the cloth or towel from the top of her head and down her back. Do this a couple of times a day if it's very hot.

  • The places where cats get the warmest are their bellies, the pads on their paws, their armpits, under their chins, and on the outside of their ears. Concentrate on keeping these spots cool.
  • Another way to use a small kitchen towel is to soak it with water and place it in the freezer. When the towel gets cold enough, lay it out on a smooth kitchen or bathroom floor for your cat to lie on; if it's too cold for your cat, leave it there as it'll warm up enough over time. Don't force your cat onto it – simply introduce her to it and if she likes it, she can make up her own mind.
Provide access to a good, constant supply of water for hydration. Dehydration is a real risk for cats during the heat of summer, so constant access to water is essential. Fill her water bowl and check that it's always filled during hot weather (indeed, a cat should have access to clean water at all times of the year).

You could try adding ice cubes to a second bowl of water. Not all cats will appreciate this but it's worth trying and if she likes it, she has access to some very cool water. However, don't make this the only source of her water because if she finds it too cold, she'll get dehydrated by avoiding drinking it. You might be able to encourage licking of and drinking from ice cubes if you flavor them with chicken or beef stock.

Then there is what I do for Tubbles, dip her paws in some cool water and keep the fan on her. That seems to do the trick. There is many other tips and tricks to keeping them cool but I wanted to at least list a few.

**The symptoms of heatstroke in a cat include agitation, extreme distress, stretching out and panting heavily, skin hot to the touch, vomiting, glazed eyes, drooling and staggering. Untreated, the cat will collapse into a coma and die. If you see any of these signs, get to the veterinary clinic immediately.

For Dogs!
Heat stroke begins with heavy panting and difficulty breathing. The tongue and mucous membranes appear bright red. The saliva is thick and tenacious, and the dog often vomits. The rectal temperature rises to 104 - 110F (40 - 43.3C). The dog becomes progressively unsteady and passes bloody diarrhea. As shock sets in, the lips and mucous membranes turn gray. Collapse, seizures, coma, and death rapidly ensue.

Dogs sweat through their mouth and paws.. so cool drinking water and cool paw dipping water will help. If you can, let your dog go swimming in a kitty pool in the backyard (in the shade).

A trick that can be used is just wiping them down with a cool towel. Yep, same as cats.

I grew up with two dogs and what we used to do for them during the Summer is ice cubes in their drinking water and as a treat. My dogs would crunch up ice cubes like they were bones and loved them.. plus it cooled them off. (if you use the ice cube in water technique for cats, make sure there is another bowl of water with no ice cubes because if the water is too cold for them, they won't drink it and dehydrate as I said above).

** All these ideas were from my own experiences with being an animal owner and tips I got from the internet and school. I hope this info helps at least one of you. Didn't want to take time to write all this out for nothing! Hope everyone has a safe, COOL Summer!

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