BY NICCOLE SCHRECK – RENT.COM
For humans, the summer season usually means enjoying the sun with barbeques, the beach and family vacations. But as temperatures increase, it’s important to keep an eye on your pets to make sure they’re comfortable and healthy. Remember, while you get to wear shorts and tank tops, your dogs are covered with a coat of fur. Here are some tips from Rent.com to help keep your furry friends cool in your apartment during the summer.
1. Keep Them Hydrated
This first tip is the most important: Make sure your dog always has plenty of fresh water easily accessible. Like humans, dogs can become dehydrated and even suffer a heat stroke. During the summer, it’s a good idea to use a larger bowl, so you can be sure that your dog won’t run out of water and become dehydrated.
Place your dog’s water dish somewhere in your apartment that is not in direct sunlight to keep it cool. You can also keep the water colder for a longer amount of time by dropping in a few ice cubes. My pit-mix, Wally, loves ice cubes in his water dish—but he also loves digging them out so he can munch on them. A towel under and around the water dish can minimize the puddles on the floor.
2. Keep the Air Flowing
It’s no surprise that the temperature is highest during the day, which is typically when renters are at work. You may try saving some money by turning your air conditioning off when you’re not home, but if you have a dog, you should think again. Choose a low or energy-saving option so that you can keep your apartment from becoming too hot without making a major impact on your utility bill.
If you don’t have air conditioning in your apartment, keep a window open. Choose a window that is not east- or west-facing to avoid direct sunlight, and make sure it has a screen so your pets can’t get out. If you’re uncomfortable leaving a window open while you’re away, purchase a thick wooden dowel from a hardware store that you can put in the window track to lock it in place. For only a few dollars, a dowel can prevent your pet from opening the window further and make it nearly impossible for someone to force the window open.
3. Keep them Groomed
Grooming may seem like making your dog more apartment-friendly than the other way around (less fur on the furniture!), but regularly brushing and bathing your dog is a great way to keep him or her cool. When it’s hot outside, your furry friend will appreciate being less, well, furry.
But don’t rush to give your dog a haircut. Some breeds aren’t meant to have their fur cut, and your pup could have trouble growing his or her fur back. It’s best to leave that up to the grooming professionals.
Niccole Schreck is a rental experience expert for Rent.com, a free rental site that helps you find an affordable pet-friendly apartment and provides tips on how to move with your pet. She is also the proud owner of two dogs, Bella and Wallace, and a cat named Frisby.