How to Keep Pets Cool When Your Air Conditioner is Broken

The first modern air conditioner wasn’t invented until the early 20th century, so how did people and their pets keep cool during the previous centuries? Today, of course, air conditioning systems are commonplace, but sometimes they break down unexpectedly. Moreover, many households are trying to cut down on their energy uses to reduce their monthly expenses or to lead more eco-friendly lives. When temperatures rise, however, it can be particularly hard on our fur-covered family members when the AC stops working temporarily. Dogs and cats, especially certain breeds, may find it difficult to cope well during the heat of the summer season. Here, we’ll outline some ways to keep your pets cool without AC.

Keep Pet Water Fresh and Cool

Your pets are likely to drink more water than usual when temperatures climb. Always be sure that your pet has access to fresh water. You can keep their water cool by routinely placing ice cubes in their water bowl periodically throughout the day. Be careful that your pet doesn’t attempt to chew the ice cubes, however, as they could crack their teeth on the hard ice.

Wading Pool

Of course, children love to play in wading pools, but did you know that many pets, especially dogs, enjoy splashing about in a small pool too? Place your wading pool in a shady part of your yard, preferably away from any dirt as the splashing and sploshing about can create unwanted muddy conditions. Your pet can cool off in the water at any point while they’re hanging out in their yard for fresh air.

Keep in mind that hard plastic pools are best for pets. Inflatable pools won’t last long thanks to your pet’s nails. Many of these pools are available for under $20. If you have small dogs, be sure not to overfill the pool and supervise them to ensure that they can climb in and out with ease. If you have a regular swimming pool, you might want to indulge your pet in a quick dip to cool off.

Limit Outdoor Time

Because you don’t want your pet to become overheated, you’ll want to limit outdoor time on the hot days. In fact, after relieving themselves, your pets may be clamoring to return indoors. Many pets dislike hot weather. Keeping them outdoors on hot days can leave your pets more vulnerable to overheating and dehydration. Be sure to set yourself an alarm so that you don’t forget to let your pets back inside after a short period of time.

Change Your Walk Times

If you walk your dog, avoid walking during the middle part of the day. In fact, it’s ideal to walk your dog in the cool early morning hours before the sun has a chance to heat up the temperatures. Some people prefer to walk their dog just before twilight or during the evening when the sun has gone down and temperatures begin to cool off a little. If you must walk your dog during the day, try to take a shady route and shorten your walk time. Remember, too, that the pavement heats up in the sunshine and can scorch your pets’ paws. Avoid walking on hot pavement and let your pet tread on grass.

Improve Ventilation

When you don’t have air conditioning or are eagerly awaiting parts so your unit can be fixed, you may be forced to rely on fans. Fans can help keep the air in your home moving, which can be beneficial for pets. Try to keep some windows open so that breezes can blow into your home. If you aren’t going to be home, you can leave your windows up just a bit and use anti-theft window guards. A closed up home can heat up and negatively impact your pet’s health. Keep ceiling fans turned on and use box fans where you can to circulate the air where your pets are staying.

Know the Cool Spots

Many homes have cool spots that pets will seek out. Be sure that your pet has access to your cool bathroom tile floor, for instance, or the cool concrete of your basement floor. You can also keep your draperies and blinds closed during the day to prevent sunlight from entering through windows to heat up your house.

Cooling Mats

If you don’t have cool spots for your pets or simply want to pamper them while waiting for your AC unit to be repaired, you can purchase cooling mats. These mats can stay cool for up to three days. Your pets can wear the strapped-on mats that will help to keep them cool when your AC goes out. Simply soak the mats in cold water and place them carefully on your pet. The mats will cool your pet without leaking.

Cool Bath

After a particularly long and hot day, treat your pet to a cool bath. A cool bath can soothe away its discomfort and allow it to rest comfortably during the evening, especially if temperatures cool off a bit. Many pets dislike baths, however. If this is the case and you don’t want to add any stress to what they’re already feeling, you can wipe them down with a cool, damp towel instead.


If your pet has a lot of excess hair, you can have it groomed for the summer. In fact, some people opt to shave their dogs in order to help them stay cool in the heat. Even if your pet has short hair, grooming can remove excess hair. Excess hair build up and a dirty coat can detract from your pet’s comfort. Although your pet might not enjoy the grooming experience, they’re sure to feel more comfortable once they return home tidy and without the same heavy coat as before.

Summer weather has its charms, but when the temperatures spike, it can be downright unpleasant for your pets. Use these tips to keep your pets cool and as comfortable as possible when your AC goes out. Remember that you can purchase affordable replacement parts for your AC unit from Technical Hot & Cold. In fact, you may be able to get the needed parts more quickly from THC than your local HVAC contractor. Until your air conditioner is blowing cold air again, keep your pets safe using these tried-and-true cooling tips.

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