Summer Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool
We all know not to leave a pet in the car and to make sure we give them plenty of water on hot days. But sometimes we forget just how vulnerable our pets really are in hot weather. Here are some simple tips to ensure your pet’s safety this summer. You’ll be surprised by how many of these you may have been overlooking!
Don’t Leave Pets in Parked Cars
This tip should go without saying. However, many people believe that they can bypass the dangers of heatstroke by cracking a window for their pets. Does that really provide adequate relief, though? Windows cracked or not, the inside temperature of a car can rise by up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and 40 degrees in an hour. That means that even on a 75 degree day, a car can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees. So it might be a good idea to just keep your pets at home where you know they’ll be safe and cool.
If you’re taking your dog out for a walk or jog, note that the best times to do so are in the evenings or early mornings when temperatures are at their lowest. Take plenty of water and, on especially hot days, be sure to give your pet a few breaks in the shade. It’s also important to know that asphalt and sidewalks can be extremely hot – hot enough to burn your pet’s paws! So always try to opt for grassy or dirt trails whenever possible. To check the temperature of a sidewalk, try using the back of your hand or even a bare foot. If you aren’t able to comfortably walk on a surface for a period of time, chances are your dog isn’t either.
Know the Signs of Heatstroke
Humans are able to ward off heatstroke or heat exhaustion by sweating. Dogs, however, can only rely on panting. Though they do have sweat glands in their foot-pads, this often does not provide enough relief for dogs. Be on the lookout for excessive panting and salivating, rapid heart rate, weakness, a change in gum color, and vomiting. If you think your dog may be suffering from heat exhaustion, get them to a veterinary clinic immediately. Avoid pouring cold water or ice on your pet as that may actually do more harm than good. Instead, soak a towel in cool water and place it over them or between their legs to help decrease their body temperature while they are transported to the clinic.
Pets are family! Make sure you’re doing all you can to keep them healthy. These tips will help ensure that your pets stay nice and cool this summer.
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