People don’t realize that dogs and other pets are much more sensitive to heat than people and we need to take this into consideration, especially on hot days. Pets do not sweat like humans, so they can’t cool down quickly or efficiently as we do. Heatstroke is a serious, life-threatening condition that requires immediate attention and intensive care is generally required to save your pet’s life. Fortunately, heatstroke is a very preventable condition if you are mindful and take care of your pets in the heat.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent heatstroke:
1. Never leave your pet unattended in a car. Within minutes, a closed car can become an oven. Even parking in the shade and cracking windows does very little to keep a car at a safe temperature for pets.
2. Keep your pets well hydrated. Make sure they have easy access to fresh, cool water.
3. Carry water with you on walks.
4. Avoid walking on hot days, and when you do walk, walk during the coolest hours of the day. Avoid hot surfaces, like asphalt (paws can burn quickly).
5. Provide shelter and shade from the sun at ALL times.
6. Cool down an overheated pet by applying a cool, wet cloth to paws and armpits and groin. Be careful to not shock an over-heated pet with water that is too cold. Submerging a pet in very cold water quickly can bring on shock.
If your pet is going stir crazy from being inside without exercise, if you can, take them swimming, let them jump around in a sprinkler, consider purchasing a baby pool for cool-downs. Keep pets happy with playtime inside. Put mashed pumpkin in a KONG and freeze it for a fun, active treat. Mental stimulation will help keep your pets happy when it is too hot to go outside and exercise.