The hottest days of summer are nearly upon us. Will your pet be prepared to face the blistering heat and scorching sun of this season? Below, a Cherry Hill, NJ veterinary professional tells you how to help your cat or dog beat the heat this summer.
Keeping your pet hydrated throughout the hotter months is essential, whether they spend time indoors or out. Make sure your animal companion always has plenty of cool, fresh water to drink. If your pet spends time outside, place a water dish outdoors for them and check it periodically to see if it needs refilled.
Pets enjoy shade, too. If your pet spends extended periods of time outdoors in the summer, make sure there’s at least one shady spot around for cooling off under. If there aren’t adequate trees in your yard to create shade, make your own: set up a tent, awning, or other structure to cast a cooling shadow.
If you keep your pet properly hydrated, provide shade, and bring them indoors periodically to cool off, the chances of heatstroke are minimal. Even so, it’s best to know the signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion in order to be safe. The initial symptoms include painting, drooling, and lethargy. As heatstroke progresses, a pet may exhibit increased heart rate, respiratory difficulties, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventual seizures or collapse. If you see any of these symptoms on a scorching summer day, move your pet to a cooler area immediately and call your veterinarian for further instructions.
Avoid the Asphalt
Keep in mind that asphalt can heat up to unbearable temperatures when the sun beats down on it all day. Unlike us, pets don’t have rubber-soled shoes to protect their feet. A pet’s paw pads can easily be burnt by scorching asphalt, so it’s best to avoid these surfaces entirely. Walk your pet on cooler concrete sidewalks or through grass instead.
Careful in the Car
Leaving pets inside a car on a hot summer day is a big no-no. Even on days when the temperatures only reach into the 70- or 80-degree Fahrenheit range, the temperature in a closed car can skyrocket to over 100 degrees in a few short minutes. If your pet isn’t able to come indoors with you once you’ve reached your destination, simply leave them at home.
Call your Cherry Hill, NJ veterinarian’s office for more summertime safety advice.