Summer months can be uncomfortable for all of us, and sometimes even dangerous. Which is why keeping pets cool on hot days is very important. Remember to take precautionary measures to keep them safe from the summer heat.
Know the Warning Signs
Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Keeping Cool Outside
- Provide shade and water. Make sure your pet has protection from the sun with nearby shade. Also make sure to have fresh, cold water readily available at all times.
- Walk pets in the mornings or evenings if possible. The temperature in the mornings and evenings is cooler than the afternoons, which makes walking more comfortable for their paws.
- Know the correct grooming practices. Grooming is important for your pet, but cutting their hair too short or keeping it too long during the summer could cause sunburn or overheating. Consult your vet for best practices for your pet.
- Find out if your pet needs sunscreen. Some pets, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin, can be susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about which types of sunscreen are safest on your pet’s skin, and follow up by routinely applying sunscreen as part of your summer routine. Do not use sunscreen or insect repellents that are not designed specifically for use on animals.
- Let pets have fun by the poolside. If your pet loves the water, there’s nothing like a quick, cool splash during the summer.
- Never leave pets in hot cars. This can cause dehydration and other health issues. It is also unsafe to leave your pet alone in a car while it is running, if you need to run errands and your pet cannot join you, drop them off at home first.
Keeping Pets Cool Inside Your Home
- Turn fans off. Animals don’t sweat the way humans do, so running your fan won’t change the temperature of your home or pet.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Program your thermostat to 78° while you are home and 80° while you are away. Setting it above 80° may make your house too warm for your pet
- Keep pets hydrated! Before leaving the house, make sure your pet has plenty of water.
- Keeping pets cool on hot days by covering windows and doors. Check to see if the area your pet is in has enough shade. Keeping windows and doors covered by blinds and drapes will help keep heat out of your home and your pet cooler.