Heat Stress and Your Pet

Giving them cool spaces and access to plenty of clean, fresh water is essential during the hottest months of Summer.

If you’re getting hot, your pets are too! During the hottest months of Summer, it’s important for every pet caregiver and owner to know the signs of heat stress in pets.

Keeping cool spaces in your home, even if you don’t run your air conditioner all the time, is extremely important. An open window, a floor or box fan, and a cool dish of water are essential if you’re leaving your pet at home without the air conditioner running, even if it’s just for a few hours.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET IN A CAR. Even with windows cracked, the temperature in vehicles can reach over 100° within minutes depending on the outside temperature and intensity of sun exposure on the vehicle. It’s great to want your pet with you when you’re running errands, but NEVER leave them alone in a car even for a few minutes. The consequences of heat exposure can be very serious and the damage may be irreversible.

Keep an eye on their general affect. If you notice panting more than usual, panting heavily for short periods of time, increased drooling, increased heart rate, and muscle fatigue, these can all be signs of heat stress and overheating. PLENTY OF WATER throughout the day will help pets stay cool and hydrated. Limit outdoor activity until your pet seems to have their energy level back up, and limit outdoor time to the cooler hours of the morning or evening. Even midnight walks are in order if your pet just cannot handle the heat.

Protect their feet. Both dogs and cats can be affected by hot pavement, gravel and sand. Consider only letting them outside in the morning before the ground has a chance to heat up. Investing in some booties is a good idea too if your pet is particularly active during the day and likely to be frolicking on hot surfaces.

We hope everyone has a wonderful summer, and enjoy the great outdoors, but remember if you’re hot, your pet is too! Stay cool, everybody!

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