Pets are more sensible than their humans. We may love soaking up the sun but our animals prefer staying at home and laying on cool surfaces. Protect your pets in the heat of the day and be aware of the symptoms of overheating and the dangers. Follow our advice on the best ways to avoid your best friend suffering in the hot weather.
How to keep your pets cool in summer
Firstly, let’s look at the symptoms of heat exhaustion.
If you are concerned that your pet might be suffering from overheating, please consult your vet immediately.
According to the ASPCA, these symptoms include labored breathing, excessive panting, increased respiratory and heart rate and mild weakness. A dehydrated dog will drool excessively, become lethargic, or have glassy or bloodshot eyes. The tongue and gums may also become bright red.
More severe symptoms can include seizures, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting and a body temperature of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Secondly, take extra care with certain breeds and older animals.
Breeds such as Pugs, Pekinese, Boston Terriers and Persian cats have flat- shaped faces (brachycephalic).
This means that they cannot pant as effectively as other cats and dogs and so are more susceptible to heatstroke. As owners, make sure that there is plenty of water on hand.
With older animals, and those that have heart or lung conditions or are overweight, the ASPCA advises that you keep them in air-conditioned rooms.
Now for Tango Champ’s top tips for keeping your cat or dog pets cool this summer:
One – Hydration is key
Make sure your cat or dog has unlimited access to fresh water. Panting allows pets to cool down effectively, but in doing so they lose vital fluids. It is essential to keep a constant supply of water accessible throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
Two – Make sure your pet has access to shade when outside
In extremely hot conditions, keep them inside in the cool. If they are outside in the heat of the day, make sure they stay off hot surfaces to protect their paws. Surfaces like asphalt or hot sand can burn their pads. Remember, cats and dogs don’t wear shoes.
Three – Walk your dog in the cooler hours of the day
This way they will find the air easier to breathe and the ground will be kinder on their paws.
Four – Never, ever leave your dog or cat in the car
On a hot day temperatures can reach a lethal 140 degrees Fahrenheit very rapidly. Even when in motion, the heat in a vehicle can make them extremely uncomfortable. Where possible, leave them at home, in the cool, with a good supply of fresh water.
Five – Think about clipping dogs with long coats for cooling purposes
Before considering shaving your pet, consult with your veterinarian first to see if it’s appropriate. The layers of fur protect your pets’ skin from sunburn. Shaving will leave your pet vulnerable. If your pet has thin or no hair, apply sunscreen regularly. Brushing their coats to remove loose fur is a good way to prevent overheating. If you have chosen to clip your dog, as their coat grows back, using natural omega 3 supplements is a good way to promote healthy skin and a glossy coat.
Love your pets and protect them from the dangers of the summer heat.