Protect Your Pets from Summer Heat with These Simple Tips
Summertime can be a blast for you and your pets, but with the mix of high temperatures, humidity, and frequent storm-caused power outages, it can also be dangerous. In the summer, pets can quickly become dehydrated and overheat. This causes their body temperatures to rise, leading to heatstroke, which can inflict permanent organ damage and even be fatal if unaddressed.
Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to protect your pets from the summer heat.
4 Ways to Keep Pets Safe in Summer
1. Be Mindful of the Humidity
The ambient temperature isn’t the only weather factor that affects how your pets experience heat. Since pets don’t sweat like humans, they regulate their body temperature by panting. When the humidity is high, cats and dogs aren’t able to cool themselves down as efficiently.. On humid days, keep pets inside with air-conditioning, fans, or a cool, wet blanket to rest upon. If your pet stays outside, make sure they have proper shade, plenty of water, fans, and perhaps a baby pool.
2. Never Leave Your Pet in the Car
Even on a day with a comfortable temperature, the inside of a car can become dangerously hot in minutes. Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. If an animal can’t accompany you inside your destination, then leave your pet at home.
3. Stay Hydrated in the Shade
When playing outside, be sure your pet has access to plenty of drinking water and shade to prevent dehydration and overheating. Do not exercise your pet immediately after feeding them. Wait at least 40 minutes to an hour after their meal to take them outside.
4. Avoid the Hottest Times of the Day
It’s best to stay indoors during the hottest times of the day when the sun is directly overhead. Instead, take walks or play fetch in the early mornings or late evenings. Remember, hot pavements can be harsh on your pet’s paws.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke and Have a Plan
When a pet overheats, it’s essential to rehydrate and cool them down immediately. Signs and symptoms of heatstroke include confusion, lack of balance, excessive panting, excessive thirst, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, seizure, and collapse. If you notice any signs of heatstroke in your pet, immediately take steps to lower your pet’s body temperature, and then call us right away. Wrap your pet in cold, wet towels, or put them in a cool bath. It’s a good idea to keep a pet thermometer on hand to take your pet’s temperature. Anything over 102.5 is considered high.
If you think your pet had a heatstroke, contact Eastwaye Veterinary Clinic immediately. If this happens after hours, please contact Points East Emergency Hospital in Wilson. We’ll provide you with instructions for cooling your pet, and we’ll be here to help them recover by administering fluids, balancing electrolytes, and providing additional treatment if necessary.
Certain breeds of dogs like bulldogs, pugs, and shih tzu’s should avoid heat and owners need to use extra precaution. Feel free to call us at Eastwaye with any questions or concerns.