Summer is a time for fun and relaxing in the sun. But it can also be a dangerous time for our pets. Keep reading for some tips to keep your pet safe and hydrated this summer!
Hydration is Key
It’s crucial to make sure that your pet always has access to clean, fresh drinking water, whether they are inside or not. Change your pet’s water in the morning and in the evening. If they are outside, keep the water in a shaded area.
Walk in the Morning or Evening
Dogs need their exercise, but they also need to be protected from the elements. Make sure you only walk Fido during the times of the day when it is cool outside, before late morning, or after sunset. Otherwise, you risk burning his paws on hot pavement, or heat stroke.
Watch for Heat Stroke
While dogs and cats have mechanisms to handle the heat, such as panting and shedding, they don’t handle the heat the same way we do. Know what to look for if your pet is suffering from heat stroke. Signs to watch for include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling & thick saliva
- Red or purple tongue and gums
- Racing heart
- Glassy eyes
- Wobbly legs, or collapsing
If you suspect your pet is suffering heat stroke, move them to a shaded/cool environment, and if possible, take their temperature. (The normal temperature for dogs is 100-103 degrees; for cats it’s 100.4 to 102.5.) Cool their body by wetting them down or using a fan or other cool breeze. Then, call your veterinarian to alert them you are on the way and of the situation.
Never Leave Your Pet in a Hot Car!
Temperatures inside of a car can climb quicker than you might expect. Within 10 minutes, on a 78 degree day the temperature inside the car can reach up to 120 degrees. On a 90 degree day, that temperature can climb to 160 degrees! The safest bet is to leave your pet at home if you are going out.