There’s no greater joy than spending time outdoors with your dog in the warm sunshine playing with some of the 90 million dogs living in the United States. However, the summer heat can be dangerous to your pet if you don’t taTo prevent an emergency trip to a veterinary specialty center, here are four tips to keep your pets safe this precautions.

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion

One sure way to keep your pet safe this summer is to know the signs of heat exhaustion. Your pet’s body temperature can quickly climb to dangerous levels on hot and humid days. You may want to monitor your pet’s condition closely. Look for signs of heat exhaustion such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, or excessive drooling or panting. Certain pets are more vulnerable to the risk of heat exhaustion. These vulnerable pets include dogs and cats that are older, overweight, or disabled.

Cool Your Pet Quickly

If your pet’s temperature rises too high, heat exhaustion can turn into heatstroke. Heatstroke can cause your pet to have seizures, collapse, become unconscious, or die. There are things you can do to help cool your pet quickly. Bring your pet into an air conditioned space and pour cool water over them in a sink or bathtub. Do not place your pet in cold water because it can constrict their blood vessels.

Monitor your pet’s temperature rectally, and remove them from the water when their temperature reaches 103 degrees. If your pet’s symptoms don’t improve within 10 minutes, take them to a local veterinary specialty center for treatment. An emergency veterinarian can run diagnostic testing to determine any potential organ damage or failure.

Prevent Heat Related Illness

There are preventative steps you can take to prevent a heat related illness from occurring. Supervise your pet outdoors at all times on hot days and encourage frequent breaks during playtime. Make sure your pet has plenty of water and shade.

The best ways to keep your pet safe this summer are to:

  • Don’t leave your pet in a parked car.
  • Go for walks in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower.
  • Test pavement and blacktop before allowing your pet to walk in it.
    • If the surface is too hot for you after touching it for seven seconds with the back of your hand, it can scorch your pet’s paws.

Use Pet Friendly Sunscreen

Dogs and cats can get skin cancer and sunburn just like humans. You can keep your pet’s skin protected with pet friendly sunscreen. Sunscreen for humans contains toxic chemicals for animals and should not be used. Skin cancer can show up on your pet as small bumps or lumps. Any new lump appearing on your pet’s body should be examined by a professional at a veterinary specialty center.

Your pet is relying on you to be the voice of reason on hot and humid days. They will often ignore signs of heat related illness and overstep their limitations. Follow these tips to keep your pet safe this summer.

At Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center we are happy to provide a wide range of veterinary specialty and emergency services. It is important to have a “primary care” veterinarian to keep your new family member healthy and happy with routine vaccinations and health checks. But if you find yourself in the midst of a veterinary emergency, our team of experienced veterinarians is here to help. When it comes to visiting animal hospitals, we understand that the experience can be full of stress and worry, so we aim to make things as simple as possible.

For more information, get in touch with one of our experts today.