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Summer Senior Pet Care
June 1, 2023

Summer can be a fun time for our furry friends: Fido gets to enjoy running and playing outside, Fluffy gets more sunbeams to stretch out in. Even smaller pets and exotics likely appreciate the extra daylight and garden-fresh produce. However, older pets can struggle with the heat, so they will need some extra attention at this time of year. A Potomac, MD vet offers some summertime senior pet care tips in this article.


Make sure that your furry pal always has plenty of water. Older pets sometimes do become incontinent, so that may mean taking Fido out for shorter, but more frequent walks. (Note: changes in urination and/or thirst can indicate medical issues, so contact your vet if you see these things.) 

You can drop ice cubes into your fuzzy buddy’s water dish to cool it down. For smaller pets, such as exotics or bunnies, consider getting a few extra water bottles. Keep one in the freezer, and swap the frozen one out for a fresh one as it melts. Your pet will always have cold water in addition to their usual bottle.


Dead fur and dander can make pets hot and itchy. Keep up with your four-legged pal’s grooming needs! Fido may also enjoy splashing around in a kiddie pool. Chinchillas, degus, and other small animals may enjoy having a cold dust bath to roll around in. Consider keeping clean dust in the fridge.

Cool Spots

The best thing your four-legged buddy can do to beat the heat is find a comfy spot. Fido and Fluffy may appreciate cooling pads or frozen towels on their bed. For smaller animals, choose something with great insulation. (Tip: ceramic plant pots work well.) You can also keep ceramic tiles in the freezer, and put those in your little buddy’s cage.


Opt for snacks that are cool, refreshing, and have a high water content. The exact recommendations will depend on the type of pet you have, so ask your vet for specific advice. Fido and Fluffy may also appreciate chilled sodium-free broth or broth cubes.


If you’re taking your furry best friend somewhere in the car, let the AC work for a few minutes before bringing them out. Fido may also appreciate a car ramp or steps.

Our Advice on Summer Senior Pet Care in 2024

How can ensuring constant access to water benefit senior pets during summer?

Ensuring senior pets have constant access to water during summer is vital for preventing dehydration and overheating. As pets age, they may be less efficient at regulating their body temperature, making them more susceptible to heat-related stress. Ample fresh, cool water aids in maintaining normal body temperature and supports vital organ function. For pets with conditions like kidney disease, which is more common in seniors, staying hydrated is even more crucial to help manage their health. Offering multiple water stations or incorporating water-rich foods can further support hydration.

What grooming practices help keep older pets cool and comfortable?

Regular grooming is vital to keeping older pets cool and cofortable during hot months. Removing dead fur through brushing helps in better air circulation around their skin, reducing overheating. For dogs, a summer trim (not too short to avoid sunburn) can be beneficial. Cooling baths can also offer relief, but it’s crucial to ensure they’re dried properly to prevent chills. For pets that don’t bathe, like certain small animals, providing a dust bath or wiping them down with a damp cloth can help manage heat. Always ensure grooming sessions are gentle, as senior pets may have sensitive skin

How can cooling pads or frozen towels create a more comfortable environment for senior pets?

Cooling pads or frozen towels offer senior pets a much-needed respite from the heat, especially during the sweltering summer months in Maryland. These items provide a chilled surface for pets to lie on, significantly reducing their body temperature and preventing overheating. For pets with arthritis or other joint issues, the coolness can also offer soothing relief. It’s important to place these cooling solutions in shaded areas to maximize their effectiveness and ensure pets have the option to move away if they become too cold. This simple addition to your pet’s environment can dramatically increase their comfort level during hot weather.

What types of snacks are recommended for senior pets in hot weather?

During the hot weather, senior pets benefit from snacks that are both hydrating and cool. Opt for treats with high water content, like watermelon (without seeds), cucumber slices, or frozen broth cubes, which can provide both hydration and relief from the heat. Always ensure these snacks are suitable for your pet’s dietary needs and do not contain any toxic ingredients. Additionally, consider small amounts of frozen plain yogurt or specially formulated pet ice cream as a refreshing treat. Always consult with your vet to confirm the best choices for your aging companion.

Why is mobility support important for senior pets in the summer, especially during car rides?

In the summer, senior pets in Germantown, MD, often struggle more with mobility due to the heat exacerbating conditions like arthritis. Providing mobility support, such as car ramps or steps, is crucial to help them access vehicles without strain or discomfort during rides. This is especially important as the heat can increase their vulnerability to overheating and dehydration. Pre-cooling the car and using aids for easier movement ensures these beloved companions can enjoy summer outings safely and comfortably, maintaining their quality of life without risking injury or distress.

As your local Potomac, MD veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to providing top-notch care. Call us today!