The heat is on!
Summer’s hot temperatures make for great beach going and ice cream eating, and we all know that it also means sunscreen and lots of water to keep ourselves safe and hydrated, but what about our pets?
The heat can take quite a toll on our four legged friends as well. We checked in with the Potter League for Animals to find out what steps pet owners need to take to ensure their safety on these hot summer days and what signs to take note of if your pet’s in danger.
If it's too hot for you...
Just like their human owners, pets need extra water when it’s hot and should never be left in hot cars.
If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet. It’s important to make sure that your pet is kept in a well ventilated area.
On the flip side, if you are going to leave your pet outside on a hot day for any extended period of time, make sure that they have extra bowls of clean water and a shady spot to go to at all times.
For indoor pets such as cats who like to sit near the window and enjoy the breeze, the Potter League says owners should double check all of their screens to be sure that they are secure and not coming apart from the frame to reduce the risk of them falling out the window.
Just like many humans decrease their activity in extreme heat, pets also prefer to decrease their activity level. When you do walk your dog, the Potter League recommends that you do so during the early morning or later in the evening when it is cooler. Be sure to bring water along with you on longer walks to rehydrate your dog.
In addition to staying hydrated, light-skinned pets can also be susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer. The Potter League recommends talking to your veterinarian about whether your pet needs sunscreen and for their suggestions on an animal-friendly version of the product.
Animal heat exhaustion symptoms
Also similar to humans, some dogs and cats handle the heat better than others. The Potter League says that dogs and cats with longer fur or with short faces or nasal cavities have a harder time staying cool because of the added weight of their fur or their lessened ability to pant respectively. Any pet with medical conditions such as heart, respiratory or weight problems should also be carefully watched.
The Potter League says some of the signs to look for that show a pet suffering from heat exhaustion or dehydration include:
- Glazed eyes.
- Excessive panting or drooling.
- A red or purple tongue.
- Weakness or ack of coordination.
Seek immediate emergency help
If you notice your pet suffering from any of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
The Potter League also suggests taking a cool compress and putting it to the head and paws of your pet after moving your pet into a cooler area.
Taking these precautions will offer you the best opportunity to keep your pets safe during dangerously high heat.
For more information, visit www.potteleague.org.