While your summer vacations may be winding down, the summer heat is still in full force. Not only can hot weather be uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous for your pets. Heat stress is a concerning medical condition that can have long-term consequences on your pet’s health. Because of this, it’s essential to take precautions to prevent your pet from overheating.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about how summer heat affects your pet and provide some simple tips for keeping your pet cool.
🔥 The Dangers of Heat Stress
When you get hot, your body produces sweat to help you cool down. Unfortunately, pets do not have many sweat glands and must rely on other means of body temperature regulation. As a result, pets are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures and can easily get overheated.
If the summer heat causes your pet’s body temperature to exceed 103° F, they can experience a condition known as heat stress. Some of the most common symptoms of heat stress include:
• Excessive Panting
• Difficulty Breathing
• Dry Mucous Membranes
• Bright Red Gums
Unfortunately, if your pet does not receive immediate attention, heat stress can progress to a more severe condition known as heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when your pet’s internal body temperature exceeds 106° F, and they are unable to cool down. Heat stroke is a medical emergency in pets and should never be taken lightly.
Symptoms of heat stroke include vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, and collapse. With internal body temperatures this high, pets will start to experience organ failure, and, unfortunately, this condition can become fatal.
😎 How to Keep Your Pet Cool
Reduce Your Pet’s Time Outdoors
The easiest way to reduce your pet’s risk of heat stress is to reduce their time outdoors. Try to avoid taking your pet outside during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, consider early morning walks or evening play sessions when the weather is cooler.
If your pet needs to go outside throughout the day, keep their outdoor activities short. You should also ensure your furry friend is coming in frequently to cool off.
Avoid Hot Cars
Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rise quickly and become extremely dangerous. According to the ASPCA, the temperature inside a parked car can rise over 15 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
This means that on an 85° F day, your pet could be experiencing 100° F temperatures in a matter of minutes.
Even if you leave your windows cracked, it’s not safe to leave your pet behind. Instead, make sure you can take your pet inside or consider leaving them at home.
Dehydration can increase your pet’s risk of heat stress. To keep your pet safe, make sure they stay hydrated and have plenty of access to clean water. Check your pet’s water bowl throughout the day and refill as necessary.
You can also add ice cubes to keep the water cold and provide some additional interest to encourage your pet to drink.
❤️🩹 What To Do When Your Pet Gets Overheated
While keeping your pet cool is essential, it’s also critical to know what to do if you think your pet is overheated. Quick action is important and can even save your pet’s life! The first step in helping your pet is to know the signs of heat stress and monitor your pet closely. If you think your pet is getting too hot, move them to a cooler location as soon as possible.
Once your pet is out of the heat, you can take some additional steps to reduce your pet’s body temperature. Applying cool water or wet towels to your pet’s body is an excellent way to cool them down quickly. You may also want to put them near a fan to provide some additional relief.
If your pet’s condition is not improving, you may need to seek emergency veterinary care. Call your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s condition and determine what additional care may be necessary.
Summer heat can be dangerous for your pet, and it’s essential to take precautions to keep your pet cool. Try to limit your pet’s time outdoors during the hottest parts of the day and always provide access to clean water. If you suspect your pet is overheated, move them to a cooler location as soon as possible and contact your veterinarian.
At Voyager Harness, we want to ensure your pet’s outdoor adventures are safe. We hope these tips will help your pets stay cool and enjoy the rest of their summer.