Ah, sweet summertime! Finally, warm sunshine and longer days to linger outside. While we love spending the long, sunny days outdoors, we must be mindful of the hot weather and the dangers it can pose for our pets. To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so always provide fresh clean water when you’re outside during hot and humid weather. If you’ll be outside for an extended amount of time, make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. Be careful not to over-exercise them, and head indoors if a heat advisory is in effect or when it feels extremely hot.
Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. If your pet overheats immediately get them indoors to a cool place, like an air-conditioned room or in front of a fan. Place cool, wet cloths or towels on their neck, armpits, or behind their hind legs. If they are willing to drink, offer them cold water, but do not force them to drink. Take them to the vet as quickly as possible.
Animals with brachycephalic, or flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but consult a groomer before seeking to shave your pet. The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum, and check the ground with the back of your hand before walking your pet.
Follow these simple easy steps and you and your pet are sure to have a happy and fun filled summer!