Temperatures across the UK are set to skyrocket in the coming days, around the same time data suggest searches for “how to keep my dog cool” and “dog cooling mats” spike considerably.
Despite being a comfortable temperature for humans, anything 20 degrees plus could be putting your dogs and cats at considerable risk of heatstroke, while the search data suggests keeping our pets cool is a last minute thought when the temperature has already increased.
Now, experts are advising pet owners to know their patio and create a “cooling corner” in their gardens so pets can roam freely indoor and outdoors, not missing out on fresh air and time in the garden.
Cass Heaphy, digital director at Paving Direct explains what happens to patios when the temperature soars and how this impacts animals: “Paving materials have the ability to radiate heat once warm which means your garden patio could be preventing any respite for your pets and causing them a real problem.
“On particularly warm days, slabs can reach an ambient temperature. This means that the floor could then become uncomfortable and dangerous for pets, even in the shade.
“Thankfully the properties of most paving materials – concrete, porcelain and natural stone – mean they can be kept cool as easily as they can get warm, but the management of this is key – which is why we recommend creating a ‘cooling corner’ for your pets and following some simple instructions to make this a paradise for your four-legged friends.”
Five tips for creating a “cooling corner” on your patio:
- Keep a section of your patio shaded from direct sunlight as early as you can so it can avoid heating from direct sunlight, this should keep your patio area cool until the materials reach the max ambient temperature
- Once ambient temperature is reached, which will be around midday when it’s warmest your slabs will have retained heat and will now begin radiating. This is where danger really sets in for your pets, at this point you should be spraying cold water over the area in the cooling corner once every few hours
- Spraying slabs with cold water will cause them to cool as the water absorbs heat due to entropy and as the water evaporates it will cause cooling to occur in the slab creating a great spot for your four-legged friend to quickly cool off
- Porcelain slabs would make the best option when creating a cooling spot with the material naturally being impermeable, so in theory they could be sprayed with water without affecting the slab other than cooling it slightly
- Surround the area with pet-friendly, non-toxic plants, like spider plants or African Violet’s to give your pooch a summer escape that doesn’t look out of place in your garden
Full guidance on creating a “cooling corner” in your garden can be found on the Patio Direct website.