Summer is here, which means there are more opportunities than ever to get outside with your four-legged friends. But your pets may not be able to handle heat the same way you do. They are covered in fur, after all. So if you’re wondering how to protect your pet from the heat, here are a few essential tips to help you out.
Never Leave Your Pet Alone in the Heat
When it’s cooler outside, it can be easy to let your pet have free reign of the backyard for an afternoon. But when it’s hot out, your pet should never be left unattended without plenty of water, shade, and your supervision. Leaving your pet in a hot car is also not advisable. If you have to leave your pet in the car for any reason, make sure your air conditioning is on and they have access to food and water. Better yet, plan your errands so your pet can enter the store with you or leave them at home.
Keep Your Walks Confined to Morning or Evening Times
When it comes to summer pet safety tips, walk times are at the top of the list. Walking your pet in the middle of the day not only exposes your pet to more extreme temperatures, it poses the risk of burns on their paws. Pavement, especially blacktop, gets extremely hot in the summer sun. Protecting your dog’s paws in hot weather means changing up your walking schedule so they’re inside during the hottest parts of the day.
Have Your Pets Properly Groomed
You might think shaving your cats and dogs is a good idea for the summer. It will keep them cooler, right? Wrong. Your pets’ layers of fur keep them from overheating and sunburn in many cases. Instead of shaving your pet, take them to a groomer for a summer clean-up. A good bath, professional brushing, and small trim will do wonders for protecting pets in hot weather.
Know the Signs of Heat Stress and Heat Stroke
This is the most important summer pet safety tip that you could receive. Whether your pets are typically outside or not, it’s crucial to know the signs of heat stress and heat stroke for the summer months. A few telltale signs to look out for include:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive thirst or salivation
- Deep red or purple tongue
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, contact an emergency veterinarian immediately. If you think your pet is nearing the point of overheating but they aren’t exhibiting any symptoms, you can apply ice packs or cold towels around their head, neck, and chest. In any case, it’s always best to take them to the vet. Knowing the symptoms of heat stress and heat stroke is crucial in learning how to protect your pet from the heat.
Know Which Dogs Are Less Heat Tolerant
Chances are if your dog is a fan of cold weather and snow, they won’t be too tolerant of the heat. However, that’s not the only indicator that your pup can’t handle hot temperatures. Older dogs, puppies, and overweight dogs typically are less tolerant of the summer heat. In addition, short-nosed breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, Terriers, Boxers, and Shih Tzus shouldn’t be subjected to extremely hot temperatures. Understanding this information could save you and your pooch a summer full of problems.
Prepping your pet (and yourself) for the summer heat is a simple exercise, and an important one, too! When you consider how many times a year you medicate your dog for fleas (which consumer 15 times their weight in blood daily), taking the time to learn about summer pet safety can help you to know how to protect your pet from the heat, it takes no time at all and can ensure they have a safe, happy summer season.
You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. If you want to learn more about how to prepare your pets for a monsoon, get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty and 24-hour emergency services.