Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot: Summer Pet Safety 101
The dog days of summer are in full swing. For some of us, the summer heat brings on the urge to spend as much time outdoors as possible, swimming, grilling, or just goofing around in the yard, while others prefer to spend the hottest days inside with the air conditioner at full blast.
Whether you spend your summer out and about, indoors, or a little of both, it’s important to remember to consider your pet’s health and summer pet safety as temperatures rise.
Summer Pet Safety Tips
Because pets aren’t as effective at lowering their body temperatures as humans, it’s up to us to help them stay cool when the heat is on. Keep the following tips in mind for preventing dehydration and overheating in your pets this summer:
Hydration is key – Provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pet at all times. A good rule of thumb is one bowl per pet, plus one more. Bring water and a travel bowl whenever you are out and about with your pet.
Exercise wisely – Limit your pet’s daily walks or runs to the early morning or evening hours, when temperatures are the coolest. Make sure to check the pavement with your palm – if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.
Keep your pet cool – Provide your pet with plenty of shade while outdoors. If possible, bring your pet inside during the hottest time of the day, usually between 11AM and 4PM. Fill a kiddie pool with cold water or set up a sprinkler for some cool fun for your dog (and you if you’re so inclined!)
Power outage safety – A good summer storm can knock out the power in an instant, taking your AC with it. Make sure you have a plan in place for your pets in case of a power outage. Keep water bowls filled, go for a swim or keep your pets cooled down with wet towels or the hose.
No Parking – Never, ever leave your pet inside a parked vehicle. Even if it’s parked in the shade and even if the windows are cracked. Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can quickly rise into the danger zone, leading to heatstroke, organ failure, and even death.
Heat Stroke And Your Pet
Heat stroke can affect any pet, but the very young, very old, or short-nosed pets (Persian cats, bulldogs, pugs, boxers, etc.) can be at particularly high risk. Signs that your pet may be overheating include:
- Excessive panting and drooling
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Internal temperature of 105 or greater
Heat stroke should be considered a life-threatening emergency. If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, quickly move him or her to a shady or air conditioned location. Soak towels in lukewarm water (never cool or cold) and wrap your pet’s body with them. You may also place your pet in front of a fan at this time. Once you have begun the cooling process, contact us for further instructions or bring your pet in to see us immediately.
Your team at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center wants you and your pet to have a safe and fun summer. We are happy to answer any of your summer pet safety questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call!