How To Keep Your Pets Cool In The Summer Heat
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Leave Your Pet at Home! On an 85° day, your car can heat up to 120° in just 20 minutes. Your pet will be safer and more comfortable at home.
Bring Your Pets Inside! It's cooler and safer. Outdoor-only pets need to come inside as well. Be sure that when your pets do go outside that you are there with them.
Hot Paws! It's hot outside, especially on the side walk and any paved area. Walk your dogs on the grass, in the dirt, anywhere that won't "burn" their paws.
Short Walks! Keep your walks to early mornings and late evenings when it's a bit cooler. Make your dog walks shorter. Carry water with you. Stay out of the sun and the heat of the day.
Fans Don't Cool Animals! Pets respond differently to heat than humans do. (Dogs, for instance, sweat primarily through their feet.) And fans don't cool off pets as effectively as they do people.
Keep Your Pets Cool! Make sure your pets always have water, whether they are inside or out with you. Try a cooling body wrap, vest, or mat (such as the Keep Cool Mat). You can soak these products in cool water, and they'll stay cool (but usually dry) for up to three days. If your dogs don't find baths stressful, see if they enjoy a cooling soak.
Watch Out for Heatstroke! Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke. Look for heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. Animals are at particular risk for heatstroke if they are:
- Very old or very young
- Overweight and/or not conditioned to prolonged exercise
- Have heart or respiratory disease
- Some breeds of dogs --like boxers, pugs, Shih Tzus, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles -- will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat.
What To Do If You Suspect Heatstroke! If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, immediately move her into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck, and chest or run cool (not cold) water over her. Let her drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take her directly to a veterinarian.