Keeping Your Pets Safe From Heat

It can be hard enough to determine when humans get overheated, but it’s even more difficult to know when your pets are too hot. Here are some tips for keeping them safe and protected from the heat.

Give Them Plenty of Water

Make sure your pets always have access to water, no matter what time of year it is. Keeping your pet hydrated all the time, even when they’re inside, is crucial to keeping them safe from heat when they do go outside. If you leave the house for most of the day, you should make sure that the water bowl is full. You can also get a bowl that releases more water automatically, so you never have to worry about your pet getting thirsty. If you take you pet out somewhere, always bring a bowl and a bottle of water for them.

Don’t Leave Them In The Car

You wouldn’t leave your child in the car on a hot day, so you shouldn’t leave your dog in there either. According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, temperatures inside a car can rise 20 degrees in as little as ten minutes, and up to 30 degrees in 20, so that quick trip could be fatal to your pet. Drop your pets at home before running errands, or have someone stay in the car with them with the air conditioning running.

Don’t Go Out in the Middle of the Day

The middle of the day and through the afternoon are the hottest times of the day, so it’s not the best time to walk, play with your pet outdoors or let him outside. Try to take outdoor time first thing in the morning and later in afternoons or early evening. Additionally, you should not let your pet walk on hot concrete or cement on a warm, sunny day. If you can’t keep your hand on the pavement for more than a few seconds, it’s too hot for your pet. The heat from the ground can raise their body temperatures even further, and it can also burn their paw pads.

Provide Other Ways to Cool Off

If your pet really wants to be outside in the heat of the day, provide other ways for her to cool off. Put ice cubes in water bowls, leave an outdoor fan running for your pet to sit in front of, or let them play in a pool or sprinkler to cool down. You can also get special frozen pet treats for those particularly hot days.

Remove Excess Hair

Remember that your pets are walking around with a permanent fur coat, and while it does help protect them from sunburns, it also makes them much hotter. Brush your pets regularly to remove excess fur. If you have a long-haired pet, you might also want to consider getting his hair or fur trimmed during the warm months. It might look a little silly, but he’ll be more comfortable.

Learn the Symptoms of Heat Stroke

You should take time to learn and understand the signs of heatstroke in your pets. They could include excessive panting, dark red tongue, lethargy, stumbling, seizures and vomiting. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, get him inside and cooled down and immediately take him to the vet. If left untreated, it could lead to permanent damage or even death.