Most pet owners love to spend long, sunny days outdoors with their furry friends. Summertime is the perfect time to run around and have fun. However, when it comes to your pet, it is a time fraught with danger. During hot weather, you need to take extra care of your pet to ensure it is okay. According to the ASPCA, being overeager in hot weather can be dangerous to your pets.
Even if your pet is healthy, it can still suffer from sunburn, heatstroke, and/or dehydration in hot weather. If not treated quickly, heatstroke, in particular, can be fatal to your pet. Fortunately, you can take some simple precautions to prevent your furry companion from overheating.
Sometimes, the best way to keep pets safe and cool is to leave them at home. Dogs, for example, cool themselves by panting. As they pant, they exchange warmer body temperatures for the cooler air outside their body. During hot weather, the air outside may not be cool compared to the pet’s body temperature. Their cooling system, therefore, will not work. Consequently, they can easily get heatstroke.
According to studies, on a 75-degree day, temperatures inside your car, even with the windows cracked, can go up to 100 degrees within 10 minutes. If you own a dark-colored car, temperatures inside can increase even more. Taking your four-legged friend in your car to do some shopping is not worth the risk.
If the pavement outside is too hot to step on with your bare feet, it is too hot for your pet’s paws as well. Check the temperature of the pavement first before leading your pet outside. If you still want to walk your dog across the pavement in hot weather, make him or she wear protective covering for his or her feet. If he or she is not comfortable with protective coverings, try applying a topical product that creates a protective barrier between his or her paws and the hot pavement.
Your dog’s heavy breathing on a hot day can take a toll on him or her. He or she should always have access to cool fresh water. Dogs, for example, lose moisture in hot weather faster than humans do. Keeping a deep bowl of cool water somewhere your pet can reach is a great way to protect him or her from hot temperatures.
During the hot season, you should exercise your pet when the sun’s intensity is less. Exercising late at night or early in the morning is a good idea. You should also watch out for signs of heat stress, such as pale gums, excessive panting, glassy eyes, and increased salivation. To keep your pet entertained during the day, try making a popsicle, which will keep your dog occupied and cool for hours.
Many pet owners do not know that a shaggy coat can help insulate their pets against the heat. Try furminating your cat or dog if it has a thick coat. This will remove the thick undercoat and leave the outer coat intact, which will protect and insulate your pet’s skin from sunburn. Your pet will keep cool as long as the air is able to circulate through its fur.
To get more hot weather tips for your pet, call 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital at (276)431-4838. Located in Duffield, Virginia, we deliver the highest standard of care and compassion to our furry patients. Our first priority is to keep your pets happy and healthy throughout their lives.