Soaring summer temps are more than exhausting.
They can be severely dangerous, even fatal, to your pets. Our fluffy companions rely on us to keep them safe. Learn more about heatstroke in pets and how to prevent this sometimes fatal condition.
What is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke – also called heat exhaustion or heat stress – is a form of hyperthermia; when high temperatures and heat generation surpass the body’s ability to lose heat and to cool off, your pet’s organs and tissues can suffer harm.
Contributing factors to heatstroke include a hot (or even warm) environment with low ventilation, inadequate shade, a lack of fresh, cool water, and physical overexertion.
Signs Your Pet May Be Suffering From Heat Exhaustion:
- Breathing distress, or increased panting
- Bright red tongue
- Vomiting or diarrhea (may be bloody)
- Restlessness, agitation
- Mental confusion
- Weakness, difficulty standing
- Dizziness, trouble walking
Heatstroke is a very serious condition, even life-threatening. Overheating can damage your pet’s internal organs and requires immediate treatment. If your pet shows signs of heat exhaustion, remove them from the high temperatures and take them to the vet immediately (even if you believe symptoms may be improving).
How to Prevent Pet Heatstroke:
Never leave your pet in a parked car, not even for “just a minute.”
Even with windows cracked on a “warm day,” it’s important to keep in mind that dogs and cats are more sensitive to heat. For example, if the outside temperature is 80 F, within 10 minutes the car’s interior temperature can reach 100 F. If you’re planning to run errands on a warm summer day, leave your pet at home unless your pets are welcome inside the establishments.
Keep your A/C on even if you’re not home.
Some people may try to limit their use of A/C when not home during the day to save money on their utility bills. But without cooling AC or adequate fresh air ventilation, your pet can overheat in your home while you’re away. Keep your pet cool and save yourself heartache by leaving the A/C on.
If you’re looking to foster mental stimulation and exercise for your indoor pets, the Barkery is here to help! We carry several new and exciting toys and puzzles for both cats and dogs! These fun toys are perfect for indoor playtime and can even be found in our online store; simply ship them to your door along with your pet’s food order and you’re all set for a summer of fun!
Provide fresh, cool water for both dogs and cats.
Change your dog or cat’s water bowl daily, and thoroughly clean the bowl. Leave the bowl in a shady, cool place out of the sun and check throughout the day to make sure the water is fresh and cool. Cats are especially prone to dehydration which can not only lead to heatstroke but also to severe UTI or bladder infections.
One way to help your kitty stay nice and hydrated is to include wet food in her diet; our pet nutrition specialists at the Barkery would be more than delighted to help you find the right wet food for your feline friends!
When it comes to our doggy pals on the go, the Barkery recommends a collapsible water bowl easy for out and about hydration needs. One customer likes to take frozen water bottles to the dog park on hot days; after playtime is over, a melted and cool bottle of water is ready to be poured into a convenient collapsible doggy dish!
Keep in mind: Cold ice water is too extreme for most pets, so make sure the water is cool but not icy. For further information, please talk with Barkery pet experts or your local vet.
Plan the time of day and length of your pet’s outside activities under the sun.
Of course, it’s best to avoid the hottest parts of the day for your pet’s wellbeing. If you take your pup on a daily walk, for example, try walking early in the morning or later in the evening.
Don’t stay out too long even in “warm” temperatures, and don’t forget to monitor your dog’s breathing and body language along the way. Keep in mind that hot pavement can cause painful burns to your puppy’s tender paws.
Quick tip: If you can’t stand on the pavement or asphalt barefoot for long, then your dog shouldn’t either. Try Barkery’s pet booties or even paw balm to keep those fluffy feet safe and soft!
Watch for High Risk Factors
Know your pet’s medical history, breed, and recommended activity level. Certain pets are especially susceptible to heatstroke; if you’re being a responsible pet owner and seeing your vet on a fairly regular basis, you should have a good idea of whether your household companion is at greater or lesser risk.
High Risk Factors for Pet Heatstroke Include:
- Excessive Exercise
- Warm Temperatures
- Flat-faced Features (such as Pug pups or Persian cat beauties)
- Long-haired Breeds
- Respiratory Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Extreme Age (very young or getting older)
If your pet is at a higher risk of suffering heat exhaustion, it’s best to keep them indoors except for short potty breaks outside, preferably in the shade.
Keep your animal companions safe during warm temperatures by following these tips! For more information or additional advice, just stop by the Barkery today or contact us online! Our goal is to support your pet’s total wellness throughout each and every season!