Summer means hot weather and vacation time for many.  Help your pets with these simple methods.  Be cool and safe!

Here are tips to help with the sizzling heat:

  • It is imperative that your animals have water, shade, and proper ventilation at all times or they can end up with heat stress or stroke, and possibly die. Animals that are older, very young, overweight, or have heart and respiratory conditions are more likely to have problems from the heat.
  • Remember that animals with light-colored hair or pigmentation, especially short or thin coats, are more prone to sunburns.  For dogs that don’t stay in the shade enough, consider putting a white, thin t-shirt on them for protection.
  • If you are bringing your animal inside at night and putting them outside during the day, think about how much of a temperature change you are having their body adjust to since the night is the coolest part of the day. It is especially harder for older and long-haired animals.
  • To help cool your pet down, you can place ice cubes in their water bowl, make a homemade frozen treat pop or give them a frozen water bottle to lay against or play with.  If they like water, try a mister, sprinkler or kiddie pool. 
  • If you hose your horse off or bathe them, it is actually better to squeegee the water off afterwards because the leaving the water on can help hold in the heat. (Even llamas are prone to heat stress and hosing their entire bodies actually can heat them up – it is best to hose just their belly, chest, and legs.)
  • A fan also works great for animals that live outdoors.  Just make sure they can’t injure themselves on it.
  • Deshedding tools like the FURminator® help to remove the undercoat from dogs, cats, rabbits and horses.  I love this tool!
  • Should you have to deal with hot spots, apple cider vinegar used externally and internally can help. 
  • For fungal infections, mouthwash applied topically can do the trick and is very affordable.
  • Fighting allergies with Mother Nature?  Consider the homeopathic remedy histaminum.  This can be great for both people and animals.  I purchase my homeopathy from Washington Homeopathics.  You can also check with Whole Foods and private health food stores to see if they carry this remedy.

  Here are some traveling tips:

  • If you are traveling with a nervous pet, the color light blue can help. 
  • If you are traveling with your dog or cat, the herb ginger can help with car sickness. You can use fresh ginger or a capsule. If using a capsule, go by the body weight on the bottle and offer 1 hour prior to traveling.
  • Bring water and food your animal is used to if possible, along with their toys and bed. A change in water and food can cause indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches, for example, contain chlorates, which can result in difficulty breathing and damage blood cells.
  • Do not use insect repellant and DEET products on your pets as they can cause them to drool, vomit, have diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy and worse, lead to neurological problems.  I’m not a fan of the chemicals for our family OR our animals.  Consider a spray made with essential oils of citronella, lemongrass, cedarwood and eucalyptus and water.  This is great for people and animals, however, you want to make sure neither the person or animal’s skin is sensitive to essential oils first, even if they are diluted in water.  Dab a bit of the spray on their skin and see what happens before you spray the whole body with it.  But this is what we use for mosquitoes and other pests.  To find out what oils are best for your family and pets and how much to use, you should muscle test because it will vary. 

 Blessings to you and the animals you love!