Summer is in the air! Temperatures are rising, and with that comes added risk of heat stroke or exhaustion. Certain breeds are at higher risk for overheating, but all pets should be monitored during hot summer days.
Unlike humans, who sweat to lose heat, dogs and cats cannot regulate their temperature in this way. They rely mainly on panting and external cooling to lose heat from their bodies. This limits their ability to thermoregulate, which is why pet owners need to minimize the risk of heat stress.
Here are some helpful things you can do for your pet:
- Ensuring your pet has access to shade when outside, and the freedom to move into shaded areas;
- Ensuring your pet has access to fresh drinking water inside and outside the house (make sure they are placed in a shady spot if outside and consider placing an extra bowl or two if you are leaving the house);
- Avoiding excessive exercise / avoiding exercise during the hot parts of the day / avoiding exercise entirely on very hot days;
- Not leaving pets in the car, even with the windows open.
Being aware of signs of heatstroke may allow you to act quickly and prevent internal organ damage. These signs may include:
- Excessive panting progressing to breathing distress;
- Drooling, salivation;
- Very red or very pale gums;
- Vomiting and/or or diarrhea;
- Restlessness, delirium, agitation;
- Collapse / comatose.
If you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke give us a call. We are here to help! Remember – prevention is best, we don’t want your furry best friend overheating!