From people to pooches, the summer is hot for everyone.
But let’s face it – we have tank tops, bathing suits and opposable thumbs capable of turning on the air conditioning.
Our furry friends, stuck in their fur coats 24/7, are not as lucky.
That’s why it’s up to us as pet parents to make sure we know how to best care for our little loved ones all summer long.
Here are some simple but important tips to keep pets cool and comfortable when the heat is on.
Heat Safety – Know the symptoms of a heat stroke.
These include excessive panting, dehydration, fatigue, drooling, fever, vomiting, red mouth/eye membranes, rapid/irregular heart rate, diarrhea, a dazed look and collapsing.
- Take your pet to the vet right away if you see any of these signs.
- Avoid hot sidewalks to prevent your pup’s paws from being burned on the hot surface.
Animals are at particular risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise or have heart or respiratory disease.
Keeping Cool – Dogs cool their bodies through panting, but sometimes need extra help.
- Be sure dogs have shaded play areas with easy access to water.
- Make ice cube treats or “Peanut Butter Pupsicles” to keep pets hydrated.
- Properly groom your pet for hot weather conditions – consult a pet groomer.
- Leave a fan on for your pooch to sit in front of during the hot midday.
Hydration – Keep pets hydrated and in the shade.
Anytime a pet is exposed to hot temperatures, hydration is key to make sure pets are happy and not harmed by the summer heat.
- Make sure they have easy access to a sufficient amount of fresh, cool water.
- Carry a bottle of water and a portable water dish when taking pets for a walk. Cloth-like water dishes are easy to keep in your pocket and can be found at your local pet supply store.
Additional Do’s and Don’ts
- Do take early morning or evening walks to avoid the midday heat.
- Do brush your pup often and make sure his or her fur is at least one inch long to protect form the sun.
- Do take walks in grassy areas as much as possible to avoid the hot pavement.
- Do take extra care of short-nosed dogs, such as Pugs, Shi Tzus, Pekingese, Bulldogs and Boxers, which have shorter faces and noses as these breeds are more prone to heat stroke because they aren’t able to pant as efficiently as breeds with longer faces. The same is true for certain types of short-nosed cat breeds, including Persians and exotic cats.
- Don’t leave your pet alone inside of a car. If you see a dog left alone in a car, call your local animal rescue or police department to report the pet in the car and try to inform them if the pet appears to be in distress. Next try to find the pet parent as well as keep an eye on the car until the guardian or rescue arrive.
- Don’t leave your dog alone outside for longer than a few minutes.
Keep your pets happy, healthy and safe by keeping them cool. Remember, if you suspect a pet is suffering from a heat stroke make sure to take them to a licensed veterinarian immediately.