Summer is in full swing and it’s important to remember our furry family members need extra help staying cool as temperatures sizzle. Since cats and dogs don’t sweat more than a very minimal amount through small glands in their footpads, they cannot cool themselves except through panting cool air into their lungs or licking their coats. This limited ability to keep themselves naturally cool makes them highly susceptible to suffering heatstroke.
Heatstroke occurs when an animal’s body becomes overheated and the core temperature is not within a safe range. As good pet parents, it’s our job to monitor pets to ensure they are not over-active in hot temperatures and to have resources necessary to keep them cool. Also, some pets are more likely to suffer heatstroke, including those that are older or overweight, those with heart conditions, or pets with airway disease. Cats of short-nosed breeds such as Persians are also more susceptible, so even more caution is needed to keep these guys safe.
Our friends at epetsure have compiled a list of safety tips to keep your pets safe and comfortable during our hottest months.
Watch Humidity Levels
Even if the high temperature isn’t projected to reach triple digits, high humidity levels can be dangerous. “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body,” says Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society’s Veterinary Medicinal Association. “If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly.”
Limit Hot-Weather Walks
Although many dogs will walk to ends of the earth, it’s best to limit time spent outside on hot days. If a game of fetch is a part of your daily routine, be sure to limit play to shady areas or—even better—inside. If you’re going to play inside, keep the thermostat set to a comfortable temperature. Fans, while effective at moving the air, don’t do enough to cool down animals with thicker coats.
Providing plenty of fresh water for your pet is important every day of the year, but it’s paramount in hot weather. Frozen treats are even better; mix peanut butter and mashed banana and freeze in an ice tray with water for perfect summer doggy pops that will satisfy your dog’s cravings while cooling him down at the same time!
With these quick tips, summertime will be safe and sound for your dogs and cats.
This content is provided by epetsure. We are your pet insurance expert committed to helping pet parents be informed and educated about the benefits of pet insurance. Learn more about ensuring your pet’s wellness at epetsure.com.