Soaring temperatures can mean big trouble for your pets. Heat related problems are some of the most common causes of summertime ailments. It is important to be aware of what heat can do to our pets-it could even save a life!
It’s hard to resist taking our pets for a walk on a nice sunny day, however, there are many things to take into consideration before you walk out the door. Dogs need to adjust to the summer heat. Before your pets paws touch the asphalt, you need to check the temperature. To do so, place your palm on the sidewalk for seven seconds, if you are unable to comfortably hold your hand to the ground, it’s going to be too hot for your dog to walk on. Instead, go to a shady, dog friendly area-ideal locations include areas near water such as lakes, creeks, or the ocean.
Dogs and cats need to stay hydrated in the heat, so make sure they have plenty of fresh water accessible at all times. Change their water frequently as dogs prefer chilled water to help them cool down. If your dog needs convincing, you can add a couple of ice cubes to make it more refreshing. Don’t forget to have water on hand at all times when out on walks and hikes. Just like people, dogs work up a thirst from exertion.
Don’t leave dogs in a car for any amount of time. When it is 70-75 degrees outside the temperature inside a car can increase up to 40 degrees! The hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet’s paw pads. When it heats up outdoors, leave your dog at home!
Keep in mind our brachycephalic (short muzzled) pets have a hard time breathing normally, and breathing in the heat is even more difficult for them. Obese, elderly, and pets on medication may have additional trouble in the heat. Please talk to your veterinarian about the proper amount of exercise necessary for your special needs animals.
If you think your pet is suffering from any of these ailments, take your animal to the vet immediately. Suffering from a heat related illness is not only painful but can be very deadly.
Increased caution and mindfulness of your pets in the hot weather will ensure their safety and make this season enjoyable for all!