Whew, it’s getting hot. But we humans are not the only ones that feel the effects of summer’s heat. Our furry friends feel it too. When the sun is shining, we love to get outside with all of the family, including the pets. Don’t forget that your pet is carrying around a permanent fur coat, so they can easily suffer from heat exhaustion.
Prevent that from happening with these tips to keep your pets cool this summer…
1: Know The Signs
The first step is to know the signs that your pet is overheating. The first indicator is the fact that they are panting. This is an animal’s natural reflex to cooling themselves down. But if they are in an enclosed area like a car, then their natural cooling process might not work as well. Often the exertion of trying to cool themselves down in a confined space will result in further overheating.
Panting itself is not dangerous for your pet. But if you hear them start to pant, keep a close eye on them to make sure they can cool themselves. Signs they are overheating can be laboured breathing, increased heart and breathing rate, drooling, and mild weakness. If they are suffering from severe overheating then there may be vomiting or diarrhea and even seizures.
2: Skip The Sun
Your pet will know how to cool themselves naturally. So in the middle of the day when the sun is the strongest, you will often find them lying in the shade, or on your cold tile floor. You can do your part by taking them for their walk early in the morning, or in the evening when the sun is not out in full force.
3: Hunt The Shade
If you do find yourself out in the middle of the day, then make sure you give your pet the opportunity to get into the shade often. Also remember that your pet has no protection from the sun on their feet, so they will be sensitive to hot asphalt or sand. On the hottest days, try to stay inside when the sun is at its highest.
4: Home Alone
It can be tempting to take your pet on the road with you for company. But they can quickly overheat in a vehicle, even on a day when the temperature is moderate. It is best to leave them at home where they can get themselves out of the heat if they need to.
5: Wet, Wet, Wet
One of the best ways to keep your pet from overheating is to keep them hydrated. Dehydration can be particularly dangerous for them. Panting works by evaporating fluids from the respiratory tract, so they will need to replace those fluids to prevent dehydration. Make sure you leave out plenty of fresh clean water for them to rehydrate.
6: Watch the Breed
Pet breeds who have a flat face (like pugs, pekinese and persian cats) find it harder to cool themselves as they cannot pant as effectively as other breeds. Be very mindful of these breeds in hot weather as it is far easier for them to develop heat stroke. Leave out plenty of fresh water and give them the chance to get out of the heat, even into an air conditioned area.
Don’t make the mistake of shaving your pet to keep them cool. This messes with the natural processes of their body and exposes them to sunburn. Trimming very long hair and regularly brushing your pets to remove excess hair should be the only pet-scaping you do.