12 Tips to help Keep Your Pets Cool in the Summer Heat
The dog days of summer are here, and with them comes the dangerous heat that can affect our furry friends.
According to the Suffolk County SPCA, dogs and cats can suffer from the same problems as humans in hot weather. These health problems include overheating, dehydration and even sunburn.
To prevent your pet from overheating, take these 12 precautions:
- Give your pet fresh, clean water
Pets can dehydrate quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outside.
- Know the symptoms of overheating in pets
Symptoms may include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and breathing rates, drooling, slight weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms may also include convulsions, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and an elevated body temperature above 104 degrees.
- Heat stroke
Flat-faced animals, such as pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke because they cannot pant as effectively. These animals, as well as the elderly, overweight, and those with heart or lung disease, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms whenever possible.
- Stay cool indoors
Keep your pets in an air-conditioned area whenever possible. If you don’t have air conditioning, call your local health department to see if there are shelters in your area that can also accept pets. Keep in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be restrictions on where you can cool off.
- Don’t rely on a fan
Pets react differently to heat than humans. (Dogs, for example, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans do not cool animals as effectively as they do humans.
- Open doors and windows
Open, unscreened windows are a real danger to pets, who often fall into them. Keep any ungated windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are secure.
- Prevent heat-related deaths in cars
Never leave your pets alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can this lead to fatal heat stroke, but it is illegal in many states. Do you know what to do if you see a pet in a hot car? Here are seven tips.
- Don’t leave pets unattended around a pool
Not all dogs are good swimmers. Gradually introduce your pets to the water and make sure they wear flotation devices while in the boat. Rinse your dog after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep him from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
- Don’t shave your dog
Feel free to trim your dog’s long hair, but never shave it. The layers of a dog’s coat protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And make sure any sunscreen or insect repellent you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
- Hot asphalt
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground can cause your dog’s body to heat up quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks to a minimum during these times.
😸PAWZ N CLAWZ🐶 will burn on that hot pavement today!— Mike Rizzo (@Meteor_Mike) June 8, 2021
When the sun is THIS strong, it not only makes the air hot, but the ground as well.
WEATHER FACT: The sun actually heats the ground first, which in turn heats the air. @News12BX @News12BK #pets #dogd #cats #NYwx #NYC pic.twitter.com/QGpJgB9Dzx
- Get some exercise
Make sure your pet doesn’t get too much exercise. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. Limit exercise to the cooler part of the day, early morning or evening.
When traveling with your pet in hot weather, make it a habit to carry a gallon thermos of water. Consider freezing water for long trips.