Keep in mind the following tips to help your furry family members stay happy and healthy during the hot summer days:
- Keep your pet inside as much as possible, and always provide your furry friend with plenty of cool, fresh water and proper shade when outside. Bring your dog or cat inside during the hottest part of the day.
- Never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows open or the air conditioning running are not acceptable solutions. Any vehicle can become like an oven on a warm day. It’s best to leave your furry friend at home.
- Take your dog for walks either in the early morning or late evening. Don’t force your companion to exercise in hot, humid weather. Wait at least one hour after meals and until the cooler part of the day.
- Be extra sensitive to older and over-weight animals in hot weather, as they are more susceptible to heat stroke. It’s best to keep them indoors and in air-conditioning as much as possible.
- Do not walk your pet on hot asphalt. Animals’ body temperatures easily elevate, so walk in the grass to avoid overheating and burning paw pads.
- Groom your pet regularly to prevent any summer skin problems. It’s best to maintain a short coat for dogs and frequently brush your cat. But, don’t shave your dog’s fur down to the skin. A coat shorter than a one-inch length could rob him of protection from the sun.
Heatstroke can be very dangerous for your pet. Symptoms include excessive panting or drooling, rapid heart rate, vomiting, lethargy, staggering and seizures. If your pet shows signs of heatstroke, take the following actions:
- Gently move the animal to a cool, shady place
- Wet your pet with cool water (not cold)
- Fan vigorously to help cool
- Do not apply ice which can inhibit blood flow and cooling
- Allow your pet to drink luke-warm water
- Take your pet to a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible