Keeping Pets Cool as Temps Soar
They’re not called the ‘dog days of summer,’ for no reason. While we enjoy spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, it’s important to make sure our four-legged friends stay cool and comfortable.
Here are some tips on how to help combat the high temps & sweltering humidity for our four-legged friends:
Provide plenty of fresh water and shade.
Make sure your animals have access to fresh, clean water. If it’s especially hot, add ice to the water to cool it down.
To avoid pet heat exhaustion, any time your pet is outdoors, make sure your pets have a shady place to retreat from the sun. Tree shade and tarps can be helpful due to not obstructing air flow. When extremely hot, keep pets indoors.
Be careful not to over-exercise pets or let them linger on hot asphalt. When temperatures are high, asphalt is quick to warm up and sensitive paw pads can burn. Avoid walking during the hottest times of the day and test the ground’s heat levels with your hand before proceeding. If you can place your hand comfortably on the pavement for 10 seconds, you are good to go.
Know the symptoms of overheating in pets.
Elevated body temperature caused by extreme temperatures can lead to heatstroke. Symptoms from excessive panting to seizures can signal heat distress. Be on the lookout for difficulty breathing, glazed eyes, fever, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, bloody diarrhea, and vomit.
For dogs, temperatures over 103 degrees are cause for concern with heat stroke occurring at temps over 106 degrees.
Animals that are older, younger, overweight, or have heart or respiratory diseases are at particular risk for heat stroke. Brachycephalic breeds like boxers and bulldogs are also at greater risk as they have a harder time breathing in extreme heat.
If you believe your pet is suffering from pet stroke, move them into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Let them drink small amounts of water and apply ice packs to their head, neck, and chest. Be sure to take them directly to a veterinarian.
Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle.
We love to take our animals with us everywhere, but did you know that even if you’re parked in the shade, the inside of your car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes? These high temps can cause irreparable organ damage and even death.
If you spot a pet alone in a car during warmer weather, alert the management of the business where you are parked. If the owner cannot be found, call local animal control or the non-emergency number of the local police.
To keep your dog chill, you can freeze chicken broth, veggies, and fruit mixtures. Before doing so, be sure to consult with your tech about which foods are safe for your dog.
Here’s a link to 15 frozen dog treat recipes to cool down your furry pals.