Summer is a perfect time to get outside, get active and soak up the sun, especially when you have furry friends to join in on the fun. While you may love catching the rays with your pet, it is important to take necessary precautions for your playful companion to not suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. We have compiled a comprehensive list of tips and tricks for you and your pets to safely enjoy the summer sun while beating the heat.
How Do You Know It’s Heat Stroke?
First, it is important to understand what heat stroke looks like. Animals experiencing heat stroke can exhibit a racing heart rate, high body temperature, fatigue, difficulty breathing, excessive drooling or panting, vomiting and collapsing or staggering legs. Pets may also demonstrate restlessness, and their gums and tongue can turn bright red or purple. Knowing these symptoms is important to appropriately identifying heat stroke when it occurs and quickly providing relief for your pet.
What Can You Do To Help?
If you suspect that your pet has heat stroke, it’s important to contact your veterinarian promptly. Furthermore, there are a few things you can do to help your pet return to an equilibrium. First, provide your pet with small amounts of lukewarm or room temperature water. Very cold water can shock your pet’s body and have adverse effects. You can also apply damp, cool towels to your pet’s face, neck and chest. Again, ensure that the water used to soak the towels is not cold. Lastly, bring your pet to a well-ventilated area or in front of a fan. These tactics will help lower your pet’s body temperature while protecting your pet internally.
Keeping Your Pet Cool, Calm and Collected
- To avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke all summer long, follow these tips and tricks we’ve gathered to ensure happy and healthy pets.
- Restrict exercise outdoors
- Never leave your pet in a car, hot room or sun trap
- Provide your pet with lots of drinking water
- If your pet is outside, ensure there is easy access to a cool, shaded spot
- Walk your pet early in the morning or late in the evening, as opposed to the middle of the day
- Spray your pet with cool water regularly
Some Not-So-Fun Facts
- The average internal body temperature of a dog is between 100 to 102°F
- At a temperature of 106°F, a dog’s internal organs begin failing
- On average, there is a 10.8°F temperature difference between a white car and black car when left in the sun for one hour
- It can take up to 60 days for dogs to acclimate to temperature changes
- There is a 50% survival rate for dogs diagnosed with heat stroke
Image credits to Murdoch University.