Jul 17 2012

Protect Your Pets from Summer Heat

It appears the 100 degree temperatures are here to stay. The extreme summer heat is miserable for everyone, both two-legged and four-legged. Like humans, dogs and cats are at risk of overheating, dehydration and even sunburn in this scorching weather. By taking these simple precautions, you can still have a fun-filled summer while keeping your pets happy and healthy.

1. Keep your furbabies inside. If it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your Waif!  Imagine being outside in the heat with all that fur! It’s not enjoyable for any human or pet.

2. Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle. Even with the windows open, a parked car can quickly become a furnace. Especially with temperatures reaching 100+ degrees, the temperature inside a car can rise to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. This could lead to a deadly heat stroke for your animal.

3. Walk your dog in the morning or evening when the heat and humidity are the lowest.  

4. Don’t let your dog stand on hot asphalt.  Their body temperature can rise quickly and sensitive paw pads can burn.

5. Time for a summer cut!  Get a long hair dog groomed for the summer.  Long haired breeds can be shaved to a one-inch coat.  Never shave down to the skin as this robs the dog of their protection from the sun.

6. Learn the signs of over-heating and heat stress.

Symptoms include:



Heavy panting or difficulty breathing
Increased heart rate
Unsteady walking
Bloody diarrhea

Because of their flat faces, animals like Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzu’s and Persian cats are more likely to suffer from heat stroke because they cannot pant as effectively.

7. Create a cooling bed for your furry friend to lie in on a hot day. Add an oversized, reusable gel pack to the inside of your pet’s bed or pillow. This will keep them cool for hours.

If your dog or cat is exposed to high temperatures:

1.  Lower their body temperature immediately. 

2.  Take your pet to a shaded area and put cool, not cold, water all over their body to gradually lower their body temperature.

3.  Apply ice pack or cool towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest only.

4. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. 

5. Finally, always visit and consult with your veterinarian.  These tips are only a recommendation, and you should always consult with your personal veterinarian about your pet’s health. Remember if it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for your furry friends.

Written by Jennie Rinas
Communications Manager at Wayside Waifs

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