Keeping your pet safe during the heat
Knowing how to protect your pet from heat is more important than ever. Follow these tips to be aware of heatstroke in your pet.
Heatstroke is a serious problem.
Heatstroke can affect any animal, so it’s important to take proactive steps to prevent this. Heatstroke occurs when the body temperature of an animal rises above normal.
This is a serious condition that can lead to organ failure or even death. It can be worse for animals who have other medical problems (like breathing or heart problems), have thick or long hair, are very young or old, or are short-nosed, flat-faced, such as Persian or Himalayan cats or bulldogs.
Heatstroke can be identified by excessive panting, which increases with heatstroke progression, drooling and salivating, agitation and restlessness, red or pale gums, and a brightly colored tongue. Other signs include breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting (possibly accompanied by blood), weakness, lethargy, and muscle tremors.
Applying or spraying cool or tepid water to their fur or skin and then fanning them will help to normalize the body temperature. Use neutral or cool water, not ice. This can make the situation worse. Even if you suspect that they may have heatstroke, it is better to be on the safe side.
How to keep your pets safe
Please keep your pets cool to protect them during these hot summer months. On very hot days, walk your dog in the early morning or late evening. Avoid walking on asphalt, concrete, or hot sand. You can’t keep your hand on the pavement for more than a few seconds. It’s too warm for your pet.
If you have air conditioning, bring your pet in if it is hot and humid outside. Ensure your pet is provided with plenty of fresh, clean water. Also, provide extra water in case it spills. It’s essential to give your pet a cool and shaded place with good ventilation if they are outdoors. It is important to have good ventilation because many animals pant in order to cool themselves down.
Never leave your pet inside a vehicle or car. Even on mild days, the temperature in a vehicle can be more than twice as high as the temperature outside. Parking in the shade and leaving the windows open won’t help. If you see an animal in distress in a car that is too hot, call the RSPCA immediately. When left in a hot car, dogs can overheat. They may burn their feet or any other parts of their body on the tray.
Just like humans, pets are susceptible to sunburn. Sunburn can also lead to skin cancer. White-haired dogs and cats are at particular risk. Some animals can be treated with pet sunscreen, but keeping them in the shade will also help to minimize their risk of getting sunburned.
Heatstroke is a serious problem for small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and birds. Rats, mice, rats, and guinea pigs are also at risk. They are often caged, which makes it difficult for them to move into cooler areas. Make sure that they are in a shady, well-ventilated, cool place with clean, fresh water. This may mean that you have to move them indoors on very hot days.
We can help our pets stay safe during the summer heat by taking a few precautions.