As the temperature rises and summer arrives, it is important to take extra steps in protecting your pet against the heat to prevent heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and other hot-weather ailments. Whether you are out for a walk, riding in the car, or letting them play in the yard, the heat can take a toll on your pet’s health.
DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR DOG
Dogs cannot release heat from sweating like humans do. That means their internal body temperature rises rapidly! This can lead to heat stroke and possibly death. Senior dogs, puppies, and those with flatter faces, suffer even more in hot weather. The best option for your dog(s) is to leave them at home where they can relax in a shady spot and have access to cool water.
RAPIDLY RISING TEMPERATURE CAN KILL!
Do not leave pets unattended in vehicles! On a 70-degree day, the temperature in the car can soar to 116 degrees in as little as 10 minutes, even under a shady tree with the windows cracked. Don’t just leave the A/C on. It is not a guaranteed solution. Your pet can still end up at risk if the air conditioning stops working. It is best to leave your pet at home where they can lounge in a comfy, cool place, with plenty of water.
WALKS AND HIKING
- Carry enough water for you and your dog.
- Do not take your pets on hot, exposed hikes during the heat of the day.
- Hot Sandy Trails can burn your dog’s paws. If it is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your dog.
- Hot Pavement – Dogs can burn their paws on the sidewalk in the summer. If the pavement is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your dog. To be safe, walk your dog early in the morning or later in the evening. Leave your pets at home when heading to festivals or farmer’s markets.
- Check pets for ticks, foxtails, and grass seeds following outdoor activity.
SIGNS OF PET HEATSTROKE
- Exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting).
- Rapid or erratic pulse.
- Salivation, anxious or staring expression.
- Weakness and muscle tremors or lack of coordination.
- Convulsions or vomiting, and collapse.
If you notice these signs, here are some steps that may help your pet:
- Move your pet to a cool, shady place.
- Wet the animal with cool water, such as laying them in a stream or a tub.
- Do not apply ice as this will constrict blood flow and discourage cooling.
- Fan your pet to promote evaporation. This cools the blood, helping to reduce the animal’s core temperature.
- Allow your pet to drink some cool water.
- Take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.
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Note: The advice provided in this article is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.