When temperatures rise during the summer months, pets are in danger of suffering from a heat stroke. If you’re feeling hot during the sizzling summer days, imagine how hot it must be for your furry friends? Pets rely on their owners to keep them cool in the warm weather.
Here are some tips to for keeping your pets healthy and safe in the summer heat:
- Provide your pets with plenty of water. It’s the best way for them to cool down when it gets hot. Keep them in shaded areas outside so they are not exposed to direct sunlight. Some pets like dogs even enjoy water with a bit of ice in the summer.
- Take them indoors. Don’t leave your pets out in the heat all day as this can be dangerous for them. This is true for dogs, cats and smaller animals like rabbits and guinea pigs. If you can put them in a well-ventilated room where they can stay cool, that would be good. If not, you can cover cages with a wet towel to keep them cool. Rabbits like leaning on a frozen bottle of water to regulate their body temperature.
- Give them a bath. While your dog may hate taking a bath in the winter months, they’ll appreciate the opportunity to cool down in summer. You can also have a small pool for them to take a dip in when they feel hot.
- Protect them from the harsh sun with sunscreen. Pets get sunburn, too! If your pet is often out in the sun, get them sunscreen formulated for animals.
- Check the heat before you walk your pet. If the ground gets to hot, it can cause burns to your pets’ paws. Walk them early in the morning or in the evening to prevent burns. You can also press your hand against the pavement for 5 seconds to check if it’s too hot to walk on.
- Take them to the beach or the lake. If there’s a body of water close to where you leave, your pet will appreciate the trip for a quick dip. However, check your council website if dogs are allowed in public parks and beaches near you.
- Never leave your pets in the car. Even a few minutes can be fatal. The heat inside a closed vehicle can easily double the outside temperature and windshield screen or even a open window isn’t enough to keep the car cool.
- Be aware of the signs of heat stroke. Signs include heavy panting, heavy drooling, rapid pulse, trouble breathing, dark or red gums and tongue, lethargy, agitation, vomiting and loss of consciousness in extreme cases.
If your pet seems to be experiencing heat stroke, it is best to help them cool down by giving them a bit of water and wiping them down with a wet cloth (cool, not cold so as not to drive their body into shock). Take them to the vet immediately.
It is also worth mentioning that ticks and fleas thrive in the hot weather, so make sure that they are protected from these pests which can add to their discomfort.