Pet Heat Safety Tips

Pet Heat Safety Tips

Posted by
Ed Miller on Tue, Jul 29, 2014

To pet owners, furry friends aren’t just pets … they are members of the family. During these hot summer months, it’s important to make sure all members of your family are protected from the heat. Follow these pet heat safety tips to guarantee your pet’s safety throughout summer.

All Outdoor Activities

  • Your pet’s grooming should work around the weather. Trim your long-haired dog’s fur and regularly brush your cats to remove excess hair.

  • Take walks and avoid strenuous activity during peak hours. Arrange your pet’s outdoor activities to predominantly take place during early mornings and evenings instead.

  • Avoid hot asphalt and sand as much as possible to prevent your pet’s paws from burning.

  • Brachycephalic, or short-faced, dogs have a difficult time adjusting to extreme heat. If you have a Boxer, Japanese Chin, Bulldog or Pekingese, keep them in air conditioning.

  • Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburns, too! If your dog has pink skin, white fur or has short hair, consider limiting their sun exposure and applying sunscreen to their nose and ears before taking them out.

  • If your dog is swimming at home, confirm he knows where the stairs or ladder is to exit the pool and forgo a potential drowning.

  • Never leave your dog in the water without supervision.

  • Stay on top of your pet’s flea treatment schedule. Fleas thrive during summer months.

At the Beach

  • Make sure your dog is not drinking salt water. The salt can make dogs sick.

  • Sea lice and jellyfish love dogs. Be aware of the water’s conditions before bringing your dog into the water.

  • Salt and other minerals from the ocean can harm your dog’s coat. Rinse your dog off in the shower or with a hose to clean the salt off of their fur.

  • Swimming can be tiring to dogs and humans alike. Know how much swimming your dog is physically capable of handling and don’t let them over do it.

  • Do not bring your dog in the water during strong tides.

Signs Your Pet Is Having A Heat Stroke

According to the American Kennel Club, the following are indicators that your pet could be having a heat stroke.

  • Early Stages:

    • Heavy panting

    • Rapid breathing

    • Excessive drooling

    • Bright red gums and tongue

    • Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.

  • Advanced Stages:

    • White or blue gums

    • Lethargy, unwillingness to move

    • Uncontrollable urination or defecation

    • Labored, noisy breathing

    • Shock

  • Ways to cool your pet down if you suspect they are experiencing a heat stroke:

    • Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog’s paw pads

    • Apply ice packs to the groin area

    • Hose down with water

    • Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water

    • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes

    • Check your dog’s temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog’s temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process.

    • If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Did You Know?

  • On an 85 degree day, the inside of a car with the windows slightly opened can reach up to 102 degrees in 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature can reach up to 120 degrees. Your pet can experience organ damage or death if left in a hot car.

  • According to Dr. Barry Kellogg of the Humane Society Veterinary Association, “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly.”

For a copy of these pet heat safety tips, click here.


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