When the weather heats up, it’s time to take precautions to keep your furry friends cool and hydrated. Knowing the risks and being prepared can help keep your pets safe.
Risks of Excessive Heat
Hot, summer weather can result in heat exhaustion for your pet. If it’s hot outside to you, it’s even hotter outside for them. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include loud, rapid panting, increased pulse, excessive salivation, elevated body temperature, and vomiting. Heat exhaustion can lead to a coma, seizure, stroke, and even death.
If your pet exhibits any signs of heat exhaustion, call your veterinarian immediately while simultaneously attempting to cool them down by placing them inside or in the shade and applying cool water to their body, and giving them small amounts to drink.
How to Keep Pets Safe
Minimize the risk of heat exhaustion for your pet by proactively helping them stay cool this summer. Always make sure your pets have unlimited access to fresh, cool water, in a non-metal, spillproof container both inside and outside. Anytime your pet is outside, make sure they have protection from the sun with a tarp or shade from a tree, neither of which obstruct airflow. A doghouse does not protect from the heat, in fact, it makes it worse. Never chain up your pet because they could potentially get tangled up, making it difficult for them to access shade or water.
If you need to go out and about, leave your pet home if possible. Never, ever leave a pet in the car, even in the shade or with the windows cracked. Cars can overheat within minutes to deadly temperatures, even when the weather isn’t severe. Ask your veterinarian if your pet would benefit from a warm-weather haircut or sunscreen. Sierra Veterinary Hospital offers grooming services for pets of all sizes.
Exercise is still important in the summer months, but it’s important that you do not exercise strenuously and take frequent breaks for your pet. They will not know when to slow down and can’t ask for help. Take walks, hikes, or runs during the cooler hours of the day and avoid hot surfaces, such as asphalt, that can burn your pet’s paws. Always bring enough water for both you and your pet.
Summer can be the most fun time of year for people and their pets. Enjoying a beautiful summer day together is great, but excessive heat can be dangerous for dogs, cats, and other pets. A little empathy and precaution go a long way in protecting our pets from extreme weather. If it’s too hot for us to be comfortable in the car, yard, or on a walk, it’s even hotter for our pets. The staff and doctors at Sierra Veterinary Hospital can answer any questions you may have, provide warm-weather haircuts, and give tips to help keep pets safe in the summer heat.