Summer’s almost here. Now that temperatures are heating up, humans turn to fewer layers of clothing to cool our body temperatures. For our fur babies, it’s not that easy. A pets’ body temperature can rise to dangerous levels quickly and unlike humans, animals can not regulate their body temperature through sweat. They pant to cool themselves off but, if outside temperatures are too high, this may not be enough to prevent heatstroke. For pets this can be deadly if not caught in time.
If your pet is experiencing heatstroke some of the signs to look for are excessive panting, red or pale gums, dizziness, weakness, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea or thick, sticky saliva. If you notice any of these signs use cool water (not ice water) to cool off your pet and give them water if they will take it. You can also give them small amounts of Gatorade or Pedialyte. Most importantly seek medical attention from your vet as soon as possible. Your vet will want to check over your pet and possibly run some tests to make sure that they haven’t suffered any internal damage.
Sometimes prevention is the best medicine so take the following precautions with your pets in the summer months. Keep them in the shade as much as possible. This is especially important for older pets or ones with heart conditions or breathing issues. Breeds of animals with shorter airways like bulldogs, pugs, and Persian and Himalayan cats are particularly at risk of succumbing to the heat. Give them access to plenty of water. Let them swim if there is water available and they enjoy it. Most importantly, never, never leave them in a car. Temperatures can rise rapidly and your pet can be in trouble in just a short amount of time.
With a little bit of planning and precautions you and your fur babies can enjoy all of the fun that the summer months have to offer.