Summer ‘Paws’ – Keeping Your Pet Safe in Hot Weather
Beating the heat can be tough for us humans, but our four-legged friends can have an even harder time staying cool! Warm summer days and nights mean a greater risk for overheating and dehydration, and our pets are no exception – can you imagine wearing a fur coat on a scorching day? Hot humid weather can be dangerous or even deadly for our canine companions and feline friends, so it’s best to play it cool with your pets when it’s hot outside. Here are some guidelines to keep your pet safe and healthy during the dog days of summer.
There are lots of great ways to help your pet cool down and stay comfortable on those unbearably warm days. To get your cat or dog to ‘chill out’, try:
Stuffing a Kong for your dog or cat (yes, there are kitty Kong toys!) and freezing it for a chilly, long-lasting chew treat, or freezing portions of canned food in ice cube trays for bite-sized fun!
Providing shade and fresh, cool water at all times when your pet is outside
Run a fan pointed at their favorite resting spot
For dogs, provide a shallow kiddie pool for quick cool-offs outdoors
Keep blinds and curtains closed in normally sunny rooms
Consider a raised bed or pet hammock, which provides better air circulation for our resting friends
Leave your pet at home when doing errands, even on just mildly warm days. Hot cars kill pets!
Walks and Playtime
Strolls in the summer sun might seem like fun, but you should take a few precautions before heading out for a walk with your pet.
Head outside during cooler times of day, like early morning or later in the evening
Bring cool water and a collapsible bowl with you and offer it to your pet every 5-10 minutes
Give your pet lots of breaks to rest in the shade – your pet may not want to walk as far or as fast
Keep in mind that short-nosed breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs can very easily become distressed in the heat and may have issues breathing. On very hot days, keep outside time as short as possible for these pups!
Asphalt becomes extremely hot in the sun and can cause painful burns to your dog or cat’s feet. Avoid walking your pet on pavement, or put protective boots on them before heading out the door.
Keep an Eye Out
Even the most fit cat or dog can succumb to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, and often more quickly than you might think. If you see any of the following signs, move your pet into a cooler environment right away and bring them to a veterinary clinic immediately.
Heavy panting or trouble breathing
Bright red tongue or gum color
Staggering or collapse
We all want to have a little bit of summer fun. With a few extra considerations, our pets can safely enjoy the gorgeous weather right along with us!
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