Outdoor temperatures are rising, and overheating and dehydration can happen more easily than you think. Symptoms of heatstroke can include panting, difficulty breathing, elevated body temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Take a few moments to refresh yourself on some simple steps you can take to help prevent your pet from experiencing complications from heat exposure.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car! On a warm day, even with the windows cracked, the temperature can rapidly exceed 120° Fahrenheit. Leaving Fifi in the car for a quick trip into the store could be long enough to cause heatstroke – don’t take the risk!
- Always provide your pet with access to fresh, clean water
- Make sure outdoor pets have adequate shade options
- Hot surfaces such as asphalt can cause your pet to get hot (and also can burn the paw pads)
- Keep dogs from over-exerting themselves or being over-exercised
- Pets that are geriatric, overweight, have heart or lung disease, or are a breed with a flat face (Pugs, Bull-dogs, Persian cats, for example) should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible
- Cooling outdoor pets off with supervised water activities can be fun, but be sure to take precautions. Not all dogs are good swimmers – flotation devices might be something to consider. Additionally, if your dog is swimming in a pool, do not allow him/ her to drink from the pool and rinse the dog off after swimming to remove the chemicals.
Do you have other fun ways to keep your pet cool in the summer? Share some pictures and stories with us on facebook!
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS