KEEPING PETS SAFE IN THE SUMMER HEAT
There are few places on earth that can escape the powerful summer sun. Summer temperatures rise quickly and can catch us unprepared, which can be harmful or even fatal for our animals
When planning for outside activities that include your pet, it is important for you to keep an eye on the following:
- Daily temperature forecast
- Heat index
- Temperature inside buildings for those pets kept indoors
- Temperature outside home for pets that live outdoors
- Temperature risks inside vehicles
Some Important information you should know:
- Darker coated animals absorb more heat than those with lighter colored coats
- Animals with double coats have a natural layer of insulation to help protect against hot weather
- Those with matted double coats have a harder time staying cool. If at all possible, comb out the mats instead of shaving them, as shaving reduces insulation ability
- Animals with single coats do not have the same type of natural temperature insulation; they can be shaved in order to be more comfortable in the summertime. Just be careful about sun exposure because their skin can burn
- Overweight, elderly or animals with heart or lung disease run a greater risk of dehydration
- Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Persian cats, etc) are far more vulnerable to heat-related problems
Tips to keep your pet safe in hot weather:
- Provide cool, fresh and clean water to drink at all times
- Keep pet inside if possible, if outside they must have access to shade, preferably from a tree.
- Use artificial methods to cool your pet when they have to be in the warmer temperatures, such as cooling mats, fans, misters, air conditioners, cooling vests, wet towels to lie on, a kiddie pool set in the shade. You can also freeze water in water bottles, wrap in a towel and put in a pet’s bed.
- Frequent brushing to remove loose or dead hair
- Exercise in the early morning or later evening when the temperatures are more comfortable
- Never walk a pet on asphalt, concrete or sand that is hot to the touch
- Put doggie boots on their feet to protect pads from heat rising from the ground
- Ensure that the path you walk on has enough shade available
- Shorten the length of the walk or run when the temperatures are high
- Swimming is great exercise for your pet and will help keep them cool
Everyone should know the signs of dehydration and overheating, and if you see any of these, give us a call at 973-940-2276 or go to your nearest emergency clinic:
- Sunken eyes, lethargy, loss of appetite, dry mouth, elevated heart rate, decreased skin elasticity, panting, disorientation, fast or noisy breathing, collapsing or convulsing, bright red or blue gums, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea.
If you notice – all of these exercise tips and signs of dehydration and overheating apply to you also! So take care of your pet and take care of yourself too on these hot summer days.