Summer Safety – Beat the HeatJuly 1, 2016
The hot weather during the summer months is a welcome change from the freezing temperatures in winter. You know that during these months, it’s important to stay hydrated, relax in the shade, and take it easy on particularly humid days. But what about your pet? The heat affects them as much as it affects you, so it’s important to consider summer safety for your pet as much as for yourself.
We’ve compiled a list below of summer safety tips to keep in mind for your pet on the hot days to come. These tips will help you beat the heat this summer and ensure that your pet stays comfortable, happy and safe.
Pay attention to humidity
On particularly humid days, animals have a hard time evaporating moisture from their lungs to cool down. Panting is how animals do this, and when the air is too humid, or when there’s too much moisture in the air, panting does not cool down your pet the way it’s supposed to. This means that your pet’s temperature can rise to dangerously high levels very quickly. If you think your dog is overheating, take their temperature. Anything above 104 degrees should be treated as heat stroke.
Your pet can overexert themselves on hot days the same way you can. On particularly hot days, try to only walk your pet in the early morning or late evening, when the sun is not at its full strength. Be aware as well of where your pet is walking – hot asphalt can burn their paws, whereas grass is much cooler and easier on your pet’s feet.
Provide shade and plenty of water
Hydration is the most important thing to remember during hot days. Be sure that your pet has a constant supply of fresh, cold water. During the hottest days of summer, it’s best to add ice cubes to your pup’s water to further help them cool down. Be sure as well that your pet always has access to an open, shaded area. A small doghouse does not have any ventilation and is actually hotter inside than the temperature outside. Trees, a covered porch, or a tarp if necessary are great places to provide shade for your pet while still getting plenty of airflow. Did we mention water? Lots and lots of cold water, all the time.
Cool your pet down
Other ways to help cool your pet down include frozen treats, ice cubes, cooling body wraps/mats, or a cooling soak in a tub, a pool or simply from the hose.
Pay attention to signs of heatstroke
Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, profuse salivation and a deep red or purple tongue.
Additionally, some dogs are more prone to heatstroke than others. Dogs with short muzzles such as pugs have a hard time breathing in extreme heat. Very old, very young, or overweight dogs are also more prone to heatstroke.
To treat a pet suffering from heatstroke, immediately move the pet to a shaded or air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest, and run cool water over him if possible. Let him drink small amounts of water and take him to the vet right away.
We hope these tips will help you and your pet enjoy the summer heat and stay safe doing so! Do you have a great way to keep your pet cool that we didn’t mention above? Let us know in the comments below!