Nothing kills more pets during the summer months than heat stroke. Animals are very sensitive to high temperatures, which means it’s critically important to monitor pets and provide them with plenty of shade and water. Angell veterinarians offer the following 5 tips for keeping pets safe during summertime heat waves:
Indoors, cats and dogs tend to be smart about comfort, especially in the heat, finding the coolest and darkest places in the house to relax, like tile or concrete floors. If you can, keep the blinds drawn in the house to keep out the sun, and use fans (safely) to circulate the air.
Exercise safely. Hot weather is hard on pets as well as people. Try to exercise your dog in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cool.
Walk dogs on softer ground such as dirt trails or grass instead of hot blacktop or cement sidewalks, which can burn their paws.
Remember your dog’s breed – dogs with short noses like Pugs and Bulldogs are more susceptible to breathing difficulties in hot weather.
Do not leave your dog in the car. A no-brainer. Keep pets safely at home versus taking them in the car. The inside of a car can heat up to 110 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80 degree day even with the windows slightly open. Your pet could be in danger even on a moderately hot day.
Think twice before bringing your dog to the beach or park on very hot days. When there is not enough shade or access to water, they can quickly become dehydrated. Make sure dogs always have plenty of shade in which to rest outside. The shade provided by trees is ideal, particularly if there is soft grass or dirt underneath, on which they can relax.
Stay hydrated. When taking dogs for walks on hot days, be sure to pack plenty of water for you and them – invest in a collapsible water bowl to make it easy for your dog to drink on the go. Cats need water too – make sure your indoor cat has plenty of access to fresh water, and maybe even some ice cubes to play with.
Get splashy! A kiddie pool, a lawn sprinkler, or even just the backyard hose are fun treats for dogs who like to get wet! But exercise caution – always supervise your dog when she is outside and never leave her alone with a kiddie pool.
Schedule a summertime checkup. Test dogs for heartworm and groom pets regularly to check for fleas and ticks. Ask your veterinarian about heartworm and flea preventative medication for both dogs and cats.
Always have your pets wear a collar and current ID tag. The summer months are an especially busy time for lost pet calls to shelters. If your pet has no collar or ID tag, the chances of finding him diminishes greatly.
If your pet exhibits the following signs. please contact your veterinarian and animal emergency service as these are signs of heat stroke and can prove fatal:
- excessive panting
- tiring easily
- diminished appetite
Angell Animal Medical Center (617 522-7282) is open 24×7 if your pet is in need of immediate medical care.