Pet Nutrition in Summer: Keeping Your Furry Friends Healthy and Happy

As the temperatures rise and the days grow longer, it's not just humans who need to adjust their routines—our pets also need special care to stay healthy and happy during the summer months. One crucial aspect of pet care that often requires adjustments is their nutrition. Here’s how you can ensure your pets are well-nourished and hydrated throughout the hot season.

Hydration is Key

Just like us, pets need more water in the summer to stay hydrated. Dehydration can be a serious issue, leading to heatstroke and other health problems. Pets are particularly vulnerable to heat due to their fur and limited ability to sweat, making it essential to ensure they have constant access to fresh, clean water. Adequate hydration helps regulate their body temperature, supports vital bodily functions, and prevents overheating. By prioritising your pet's hydration, you safeguard their well-being and help them stay active and comfortable throughout the sweltering summer months.

Ensure your pet always has access to fresh, clean water. For an extra refreshment boost, consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl. You can also carry a portable water bottle and bowl during outings to keep your pet hydrated on the go.

Munch & Crunch Anti-Skid Bowl £3.99Henry Wag Water Bottle with Leaf Bowl £14.99 and Henry Wag Pet Travel Bowl £7.89

Adjusting Meal Times

Adjusting your pet's meal times when the weather is hot can be beneficial because it helps them avoid eating during the hottest parts of the day when they are more likely to feel lethargic or overheated. Feeding them in the cooler hours of the early morning and late evening can enhance their comfort and digestion, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients without the added stress of high temperatures. This adjustment can also prevent the risk of food spoiling quickly in the heat, which can lead to health issues. By aligning meal times with cooler periods, you support your pet's overall health and well-being during the summer. Pets might also have a reduced appetite in the heat, so smaller, more frequent meals can be more appealing and easier to digest.

Summer-Appropriate Foods

Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your pet’s diet. Many pets enjoy and benefit from hydrating foods such as:

  • Cucumber: Low in calories and high in water content, cucumbers are a refreshing treat.
  • Watermelon: This summer favourite is safe for dogs (just remove the seeds and rind) and is excellent for hydration.
  • Blueberries: These are packed with antioxidants and make for a healthy, bite-sized treat.

DIY Frozen Treats

Frozen treats can help keep your pet cool and provide extra hydration. Here are a few easy recipes:

  • Frozen Yogurt Bites: Use plain, unsweetened yogurt and mix in some pet-safe fruits. Spoon the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.
  • Chicken Broth Popsicles: Freeze low-sodium chicken broth in ice cube trays or small molds for a savoury treat.
  • Fruit Smoothie Cubes: Blend pet-safe fruits with a little water and freeze the mixture in ice cube trays.

Balanced Diet Adjustments

While it’s tempting to give more treats to help your pet cope with the heat, remember to keep their overall diet balanced. Consult your veterinarian about the best summer diet for your pet, especially if they have specific health needs or conditions. While it's important to be mindful of your pet's diet during the hot summer months, it's perfectly fine to continue giving them treats in moderation. Treats can serve as rewards for good behaviour, add variety to their diet, and even help them stay cool if you opt for frozen or hydrating options. The key is to choose healthy, pet-safe treats and ensure they don't constitute more than 10% of your pet's daily caloric intake.

Dechra Specific CT-SC Treats £8.29 and Dechra Specific FT-H Healthy Cat Treats £4.35

Special Considerations for Different Pets

  • Dogs: Ensure they get enough protein to maintain their energy levels, but be mindful of their fat intake in the heat. Lean meats and fish can be good options.
  • Cats: Cats are generally more sensitive to changes in diet, so introduce new foods gradually. Wet cat food can provide extra hydration compared to dry kibble.
  • Small Animals: For pets like rabbits and guinea pigs, leafy greens and hay should be abundant, but make sure their food doesn’t spoil in the heat.

Summer Pet Nutrition With Direct4Pet

Keeping your pet well-nourished in the summer involves a mix of hydration, balanced meals, and occasional refreshing treats. By paying attention to their dietary needs and making small adjustments, you can help your furry friends enjoy a healthy, happy, and cool summer. Always consult your veterinarian for personalised advice tailored to your pet’s specific health requirements. Shop our full range of food, treats and feeding and watering supplies on our website. 

Your pet’s well-being in the summer depends on how well you adapt their nutrition to the season. So, take these tips, prepare those frozen treats, and enjoy the sunny days with your well-fed, happy companion!