Young, old, or sick all pets are vulnerable to the heat.
It is harder for pets to get rid of body heat than it is for humans. Humans can sweat but our furry critters get rid of body heat through breathing and panting. The summer heat can cause the circulatory and respiratory systems to work harder resulting in heat stress.
A pet overheating can cause heatstroke, irreparable brain damage or even death.
Some signs of heatstroke are:
- Pet seems listless
- Eyes are glassy
- Labored panting or breathing
- Pet’s body is hot to the touch
Normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 101.5 to 102.2 Fahrenheit. A pet will become very sick if his temperature rises above 103 and death can occur at 106 and higher.
If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, make every effort to cool the pet down quickly. Immerse your pet in cold water or wrap your pet in wet cold towels. Apply ice packs to head and neck.
CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY!
- Do not leave pets in a car! Even with windows down, the temperature inside will rise to a dangerous level.
- Outside pets should have adequate shade and water.
- Have a child’s shallow swimming pool so your dog can cool off.
- Keep your pet brushed. By brushing your pet, you will keep hair free from tangles and mats which will help maintain a lower body temperature.
- Avoid hot places such as garages or other unventilated enclosures.
- Summer coats protect from sunburn or provide insulation from the heat. Talk to your veterinarian before you clip your pet’s coat.
- Walking or outdoor exercising your pet should be done early morning or late evening.
MOST PETS ARE MOST COMFORTABLE IN TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED HOMES
CAUTION! At this time of year we see dogs in heat distress as their owners are jogging them or even walking the dogs in the hot part of the day and sun is out in full strength. It is harder for them to cool off, leave them home if you have to walk or jog at this time of day.
Thank you for these tips! Especially during the summer months people need to know things like this. Also, an option could be to use a pet sitting service during the day while you at work. That way you know your pets are most likely in an air conditioned environment and don’t have to worry about them as much during the day.