Heat-related illnesses are some of the most common issues of summertime ailments for animals. Just like people, pets need time to adjust to the summer heat. Following are useful tips to keep your pets safe during the hot summer months.
If you are planning on going for a walk it is important to first check the sidewalk to make sure it is not too hot. You can easily do this by placing your palm on the sidewalk, if you are unable to hold your hand there for at least seven seconds then it is too hot for your dog’s paws. Consider going on walks early in the morning or later in the day to avoid extreme heat or go to a shady dog-friendly area instead.
Do not leave dogs in any vehicle or in the bed of a truck for any amount of time. A closed vehicle can heat up well into the hundreds and be lethal to your pet. The best way to reduce the risk of heat stroke in your pets is to leave them at home whenever possible. Always make sure to have fresh water available at all times.
Keep in mind, our brachycephalic (short-muzzled) pets have a hard time breathing normally, and breathing in the heat can be even more challenging for them. Obese and elderly dogs and cats, as well as animals with health issues or that are on medication, may have additional troubles as well.
If you think your pet is suffering from the heat you will need to contact your veterinarian immediately. Signs of heat stroke in your pets include restlessness, excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and immobility. As the situation progresses the animal's gums may turn brick red or even purple or blue. Suffering from heat-related illness is not only painful but can be deadly.
By taking into consideration the necessary precautions and being aware of your pet's surroundings you can ensure that your animals have a safe summer!