Soaring temperatures can mean big trouble for animals. Heat related problems are some of the most common issues of summertime ailments. We are sure all our pet parents have heard this before, but it is vitally important to be aware of what heat can do to our loved ones!
It’s sunny outside!!! Let’s take Rex for a walk! We put on our hats, grab our water, put the leash on Rex and go!! But wait. Have we prepared our dog for the walk? Is this the first real walk since the heat started? Dogs as well as people have to adjust to the summer heat, especially if they are used to an air-conditioned home. First, place your palm on the sidewalk for 7 seconds. If you are unable to or it’s really, really hot, it’s going to be too hot for Rex’s pads. Go to a shady dog friendly area and try to avoid asphalt. Ideal locations include areas near water such as lakes, creeks or the ocean.
Don’t forget to have some sort of water bowl for Rex (they have collapsible forms at pet supply shops). Dogs and cats need more water in the heat so make sure they have plenty of fresh water! Change the water frequently, dogs prefer chilled water to help them cool down. If your dog needs convincing you can add a couple ice cubes to make it more refreshing.
Don’t leave dogs in a car for any amount of time! When it is 70-75 degrees outside it can heat up in the closed car up to 40 degrees (that’s 110-115 degrees inside)! Leave Rex at home and bring him a treat when you get back from the market, it will be safer for him.
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 dogs and cats on medication may have additional troubles as well.
Following are signs to look for if your pet is suffering from the heat: restlessness, excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and immobility. As the situation progresses the animals gums may turn brick red or even purple or blue. If you think your pet is suffering from any of these ailments take them to the vet immediately! Suffering from heat related illness is not only painful but can be very, very deadly.
The moral of the story is to be mindful of your dogs & cats in the heat and hot weather. Provide them with fresh water when outdoors and if you are able, keep them indoors with you. Increased caution in the obese and short muzzled breeds or if they are unhealthy or aged. We are not trying to scare you, just remember your 4 legged best friend when its hot outside!