Keeping pets cool in summer? 🌞

Hey guys!

We have an upcoming sit booked for Madrid for 2 months during the peak of summer. We will be sitting 2 husky mix breed dogs and 2 indoor only cats, on the top floor of a tall apartment block in central Madrid. The owners mentioned that the dogs will happily stay in the apartment for long periods if we want to go out during the day, and only need letting out for walks (& toilet breaks) twice daily in the morning & evening. They also mentioned they have aircon, which is a relief, as Madrid can be very hot and apparently we are in for the hottest summer on record this year (fantastic :upside_down_face::+1:)

The dogs are not full huskies and don’t have thick fur, but are still of husky descent. We are a little worried about leaving the pets inside during the day on the top floor of an apartment in a heatwave… obviously, we will do things like provide plenty of water and close curtains & blinds to make it as dark & cool as possible inside, and will ask the owners if we should maybe leave the aircon running during the day when we go out (don’t know how feasible/ economical that is though!) We don’t want to be worried about the pets every time we go out if it’s a hot day (and everyday is likely to be a hot day).

The owners are also new to Spain and haven’t yet lived through a summer in the apartment.

Does anyone have any suggestions about keeping pets cool inside? Has anyone experienced similar situations, and what did you do? Thanks!

UPDATE: They said they leave the aircon on for the pets, and we can use it as much as we like :+1: But any suggestions of keeping pets (including cats) cool in the summer, please let us know! :blush:

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Not sure about specifically about Madrid but after having lived in Dubai for 8 years where the heat can hit 50C in the summer …

Dogs only went outside first thing in the morning and late at night, wearing special booties to avoid burning their paws and cooling vests to manage the heat.
Air conditioning at home was kept on full blast, with additional cooling pads, cooling vests, and plenty of water available.
There are also facilities (daycares for dogs) offering pools, fountains, and other amenities for dogs to cool off

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Hmm… yeah maybe we will just have to keep the aircon on for them - hopefully the owners understand and aren’t fussed about electricity bills! :laughing:

That’s a good idea about the cooling vests & pads - didn’t know they exist! Maybe we can talk to the owner about getting some - thanks!

They better not, :sweat_smile:
Another thing I forgot to mention, There are special pee trays for dogs for indoor usage. But I think they are mostly for smaller dogs. However, there might also be trays for larger ones

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I wouldn’t even ask about the aircon. Let the bills be a reality check for them.

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Haha no it’s all good, we just messaged them and they said they keep it on for the pets during the day :+1:

I do like the sound of those cooling vests though, I will definitely check it out, and also research if they have doggy water play places, because that could be a lot of fun! Thanks @RadarInc for your suggestions!

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Another suggestion @Nagy26 - take the dog to a mall, for some shopping (or meetup with other dogs) but dress properly so you wouldn’t freeze :cold_face:

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@Nagy26 good for you that you are already thinking about how to keep the dogs “cool” and your ideas are spot on.

I would add that bathrooms are cooler and I would leave the doors open, shower curtains open, but not glass doors, close the bowl lid and not leave a trash bin they could get into.

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Thank you @HelloOutThere, will keep I mind! :+1::blush:

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@Nagy26
I know we used to soak our dogs chests in hot summer UK weather which always helped to cool them.
I presume those cool vests work in a similar way so would be good.

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For my cats, on hot, humid uk summer days I filled my hands with water and stroked them so their coats got wet and kept them cool. I allowed them to find their own cool places in the house and even the garden (usually under plants in the shade), and encouraged them to go out in the cooler evenings/nights - actually, they didn’t need much encouraging!

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We run our central air on cool and have these for our dog:

This is our actual dog, with a portable air conditioner in the car, because it takes time for the car’s air conditioner to cool everything down when you start it on hot days. Works well even when in desert climates. You fill them with water and that’s used to cool, charged via USB.

We also keep portable fans in our cars to blow directly on him.

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Madrid gets stupid hot in summer and most residents take long holidays then to get away from it. If you are in an “attico” apartment then you will be on the rooftop and it will likely get hot so make good use of the aircon.
Walk the dogs as early as possible or late as possible to avoid the heat and only do short toilet breaks in the day. The pavement can get really hot so walk in the shade or on grass or their paws will burn. Avoid black pavement/road and stick to light coloured concrete. If you can’t walk on it barefoot neither can they.
Dogs sweat through their paws and their mouths otherwise they don’t have sweat glands anywhere else. If they are panting to cool down then they are not breathing so exertion while hot is doubly difficult as they have to switch between breathing and cooling. If you are out with then when hot cool them down with water on their chest and belly (you may need to use a cloth to accomplish this)

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Hi @Nagy26

I’ll probably get shot down for saying it, but a top floor apartment in a heatwave sounds like a pretty miserable situation for any pet, let alone thick-coated dogs who have evolved to survive a cold climate.

It’s great that you’re already thinking of ways to help keep them cool. I think the cooling vests work on the basis that you wet the material, and it has a cooling effect as the moisture evaporates. So the vest does need re-wetting throughout the day otherwise it will become more like wearing a coat for the dogs. The pads that you can freeze might be a safer option, as at least the dogs have the choice of whether to lie on them or not.

On the hottest sit I ever did, the black dog chose to alternate between lying on a relatively cool tile floor indoors, and lying outside on baked earth in full sunlight. No idea how this worked for her, but there was a definite pattern to her behaviour, so it was obviously doing something to help. It was good that she had the freedom to choose what made her comfortable.

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Every 5 hours, even on the hottest day. Not too bad, as most dogs are not meant to be left alone for more than 4 hours. :confused:

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Thanks all for your suggestions, will keep in mind, these are all great!

Might look into the cooling pads then if the vests can become warm over time, thanks! :smiling_face:

We don’t drive & take public transport only, and would of course never walk a dog on hot pavement or anything, we know this :+1::ok_hand:

Hopefully the owners will also have researched what is available locally too -dog friendly air conditioned cafes ?

We have done a sit where they had a water fountain for their cats which filtered the water and kept the water circulating they said that this is popular in the Middle East for keeping cats hydrated in hot weather .

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Yes we have that cat water filter system here on some sits in Turkey :tr:

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That’s awesome!

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Someone DM’d me to ask about portable fans we’ve used for our dog. Sharing this link in case useful to others:

We bought a few and they’ve held up well over several years. The bendy legs are great for attaching the fan to parts of say a car.

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