Summer is all about enjoying the sun and keeping cool. The second part of that equation is especially important for your pets. While getting out and making the most of summer is one of the most enjoyable things you can do with your pets, there are things you need to do to keep them safe. These tips and warning signs will help you protect your furry friends from heat stroke and exhaustion.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Your Pet
- Excessing panting or difficulty breathing
- Fast heart rate
- Sluggishness or fatigue
- Darkening of the gums or tongue
- Dry or sticky gums
- Dark or red urine or dark diarrhea
- Dizziness or stumbling
If your pet exhibits any of these signs in the heat, get him to a cool place, give him some water, cool him down with cool water or even ice, and call your veterinarian immediately. If symptoms are severe, get your pet to an animal hospital right away.
How to Prevent Heat Stroke
There are several things you can do to keep your pets safe in the heat. Put these simple tips into practice, and you and your pets can enjoy the summer together.
Get a checkup
The first thing you want to do is to make sure your pet is healthy or that you know about any underlying conditions. A good time for your annual checkup is early in the warm season. If your pet is overweight or has a heart condition, your vet can give you tips on how to be extra safe in the summer heat. You also want to make sure your pet is free of parasites like heartworm.
Cracking the windows isn’t enough
If you have to run errands this summer, you should leave your pets at home. Even with the windows cracked open, a parked car on a hot day is dangerous. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep it wet and cool
You know how good it feels to find some shade with a cool drink on a hot summer day. Your pet feels the same way. Make sure she always has a shaded place to relax with plenty of water. This combination is one of the best measures you can take against heat stroke.
Be a morning (or evening) person
During the hottest times of the year, it’s best to exercise with your dog early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler. Not only is the air cooler, but the ground is as well. You can feel the sidewalk with the back of your hand when you go out. If it’s too hot for you to keep your hand on the surface, it’s much too hot for the pads of your dog’s feet.
Know your pet
Different pets need different things. If your pet is overweight or has breathing issues, you need to be extra careful about letting her outside for too long. If you have an active dog like a hunting dog, you need to proactively give him breaks since he tends to focus on whatever he’s chasing instead of taking time to cool off. We all need reminders to take a break now and again.
Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy with your pets. Keep them safe and cool during the hottest times so you can make the most of the season.