Warmer weather means you may want to spend more time outdoors – and your pet may want to join the fun. However, it’s important to remember that pets can become overheated and dehydrated just like humans. If your furry friends are spending time outdoors this summer, these five tips will help keep them cool and safe.
1. Cool Off Pets with Water
Providing your pets with plenty of fresh, clean water is critical when avoiding dehydration during warm weather. Animals that spend time outdoors should have a water dish or dispenser readily available. If you’re going for a walk, be sure to carry water for your pet. Unsure how much water your pet needs? Consult with your local animal hospital, which can ensure your pet is receiving enough fluids.
2. Exercise Pets During Cool Hours
During the warmer months, the best times to take pets outside are early in the morning or late in the day, when temperatures are lower. Keep in mind that hot asphalt can easily burn pets’ paws. When possible, walk pets in grassy areas instead of the pavement. If your pet has a short, light-colored coat, avoid direct sunlight and make sure your pet doesn’t become sunburned when playing outdoors.
3. Give Your Pets Plenty of Protection and Shade
If your pets are primarily outdoors, make sure there are several shady spots available. Large trees and patios with awnings provide plenty of sun protection for pets. Leave plenty of water for pets to drink, and drop a few ice cubes into the bowls to keep the liquid cold.
Planning to travel this summer? Don’t leave your pets outdoors. If a heat wave strikes, animals can become easily overheated. Bring pets inside, and keep fans or the air conditioner running.
4. Avoid Extreme Humidity
Unlike humans, animals pant through their mouths and sweat through their paws to cool down. Panting allows the animal to remove moisture from its lungs, cooling down its body. However, with high humidity, an animal often can’t cool itself down. If your area experiences high humidity, make sure your pets are thoroughly hydrated.
5. Know the Signs of Heatstroke in Pets
Heatstroke in pets typically involves several symptoms, some of which aren’t immediately visible. These symptoms include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive water drinking
If you believe your pet has heatstroke, immediately relocate the animal to a cool location. Use cold ice packs or towels to cool down your pet’s head, neck, and chest. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pet loses consciousness or is having seizures.
Don’t risk your beloved pet’s health. If your cat or dog is displaying signs of severe heatstroke, contact the team at Twin Rivers Animal Hospital immediately.