The summer months can get dangerous for everyone – people and their pets! It’s important to be cautious of the heat and humidity with your furry best friends. Here’s our top tips on how to keep your pet safe & healthy during the warmer months!
Keeping your pets safe in the heat
- Never, ever leave your pets in a hot car. Not even for a minute! Even with a running vehicle and the air conditioner on, the temperatures inside can still get to dangerous levels for your pet. For example, when it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your vehicle can reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit in only 10 minutes! Leaving your pet in these conditions can cause them to suffer from heat stroke, or worse.If you see a pet left in a hot car, here are some things you can do to save their life in a few minutes:
- Take down the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle.
- If there are surrounding businesses, contact their managers and see if the vehicle and pet belong to any of the customers inside. Many people are unaware of the dangers of leaving their pets in those conditions and will often return to their vehicle if it’s brought to their attention.
- If the owner isn’t found, call the non-emergency number of local police or animal control and wait with the vehicle until they arrive. In some states, it is legal for good Samaritans to remove the animals from vehicles in certain situations, so be aware of the laws where you live!
- We know pets need exercise but be aware of the heat risks when you are exercising your furry best friends! Try to limit their exercise on hot days if possible. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures in the early morning or evening hours, and adjust theirintensity and length of exercise based on the temperature outside. You can also find activities for them that are less of a risk, including running through the sprinklers or even swimming! If you do decide to run or participate in other activities, consider wetting them down, make sure to bring them water, and take plenty of breaks! Allow your pet to cool down by finding shaded areas, such as trees. Don’t forget…Asphalt and other surfaces can get hot quickly and burn your pet’s paws. Try to allow them access to grass while on your walks to limit their exposure to these surfaces!
- Did you know that pets can be affected by skin cancer as well? Keep an eye on your pets skin and try to limit long exposure to direct sunlight.
- All dogs can overheat, but did you know that some breeds are more prone than others? Dogs with flat faces, known as brachycephalic, can have trouble breathing, therefore a harder time cooling down when temps reach higher levels. Examples of these breeds include english bulldogs, pugs, or boxers! Overweight dogs can also be more susceptible to heat stroke. Other factors that can play a part in overheating include diagnosed medical conditions, thick or long coats, age, and activity level. It’s important to know your dog and look out for the signs of heat stroke!
Signs of heatstroke
It’s important for you to know the signs of heatstroke and what to do when symptoms show! Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Heavy panting
- A rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Glazed eyes
- Excessive thirst
- Lack of coordination
- A deep red or purple tongue or gums
- Seizures or even unconsciousness
If you notice your pet suffering from signs of heatstroke, here’s what you can do to help:
- Call the veterinarian to discuss their current symptoms
- Move them into the shade, a fanned area, or indoors with air-conditioning
- Allow them to cool down in water, such as a baby pool
- Apply cool water to their head, neck and chest (cold towels work great for this, too!)
- Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Don’t force water if they are unwilling or unable to drink. This can cause aspiration.
It’s important to remember that it is possible to cool your pup down too quickly, which can lead to shock! Use cool water when wetting their mouth, paws, or ears, not ice.
We know the summer months are a fun time you and your pets, but please keep the heat in mind to keep them safe during your fun activities!
If you have any questions about our top tips for handling the summer heat or about a Tender & True recipe, we would love to hear from you! You can use our “Contact Us” form here on our website or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.