As the temperatures rise, it is only natural to want to spend as much time outside as possible. Summer is full of beautiful days. You’ll want to spend as much time outdoors exercising and having fun with your whole family, pets included. However, be wary of heat exhaustion in your animals. Being covered with fur is great for the winter, but in summer it can be difficult to manage the heat. Here are some tips to keep your pet happy and cool this summer.
Know Your Facts
Both cats and dogs dissipate heat by panting. Panting is used as an attempt to quickly maintain a safe internal temperature. When pets overheat, this can either be because of hyperthermia or their upper respiratory systems. In the case of hypothermia, when an animal is trapped in an environment, like a car or a beach on a hot day, it overwhelms their ability to cool themselves. For pets with comprised upper airways, like bulldogs or ones that have paralysis of the larynx, it can be more difficult to remove heat from their bodies through panting. In this case, animals can generate more heat through exertion as they attempt to cool themselves, thus falling victim to heat stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive panting or labored breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling and mild weakness.
Get Out Of The Sun
Pets prefer staying at home and laying on cool surfaces when it’s hot out. If you want to spend time outside with your pet, try to do so in the morning or the evening. By spending time outside before or after the sun is at its hottest, the air will be easier for your pet to breathe and the ground will be cooler on the pads of their paws. If you do find yourself outside with your pet midday, try to keep them out of direct sunlight or give them a shady place to get out of the sun. Also, protect their paws by keeping them off of hot sand or asphalt.
Leave Them at Home
On a sunny day, the temperature in your car can reach to over 140 degrees Fahrenheit. As much as your pet may love riding in the car with you, if it’s hot out and there is a chance they will be uncomfortable, leave them at home. Panting takes more exertion than sweating and can bring your pet to respiratory distress faster than you think. Don’t leave them in the car and avoid any potential issues by keeping them at home.
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so having plenty of fresh, clean water available is very important. Panting is effective in allowing animals to cool down because it evaporates fluids from the respiratory tract. These fluids need to be replaced to prevent dehydration. Water or water alternatives should be readily available throughout the day, particularly if your pet has spent time outside.
Certain Breeds and Conditions
Pets with flat-shaped faces, like pugs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, and Persian cats, can not pant as effectively. This makes them more susceptible to heat stroke, so be careful with these breeds in hot weather. Pets who are elderly, overweight, and have heart or lung disease should also avoid the heat. It’s best to keep them in air-conditioned rooms with as much water as possible.