Long, summer days are here and with COVID-19 restrictions still looming around, we are all looking forward more than ever to spending time outside with our furry companions. Just be careful to not spend too much time outdoors. Hot weather can spell danger for your pet in the form of heat stroke, dehydration, and sun burns.
Keep Walks To Early Morning or Late Evening
Getting your daily walk in with your pet is still a great idea, but make sure you choose early mornings or late evenings rather that walking in the middle of the day. Remember that you can change your clothes to help adjust for the weather, but your pet cannot. Even pets who exercise regularly are susceptible to heat stroke. Another important factor to consider is the temperature of the pavement when the day is hottest. In 77 degree weather, pavement that has been sitting in the sun can reach 125 degrees. Pet insurance provider Pet Plan put together this infographic which suggests as a rule of thumb to put your hand on the pavement for 7 seconds before heading out with your furry companion. If it's too hot for your hand, its too hot for your pet.
Keep Them Hydrated
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so make sure that your pet has access to fresh water and shade at all times. Its important to keep exercising to a minimum and bring your pet inside during the hottest part of the day.
Keep Them Home When You Go Out
Never, ever leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle. Between 2018-2019 over 82 pets died due to being left in hot cars - all of these deaths were preventable. On a sunny day with 70 degree weather, the inside of a vehicle can get to 104 degrees in about 30 minutes. After another hour, it can reach 113. Dogs cannot sweat and their bodies break down quickly in high temperatures. Cars heat up quickly even with the windows cracked and sometimes its just a matter of minutes before a companion succumbs to heat stroke.
Keep An Eye Out For Heat Stroke
All breeds of pets can suffer from heat stroke, however, some breeds are more susceptible than others. Large dogs, dogs with short faces shuch as Bull Dogs and Boxers, dogs who are overweight or have long coats are most at risk. Signs of heat stroke that you can watch out for include excessive panting, increased heart and respiratory rate, lethargy, stumbling, dark or bright red gums and tongue. If you suspect heat stroke, take your pet to the vet immediately. Even if you cool down your pet, heat stroke can cause internal damage to the brain, heart, kidneys and respiratory system that is not apparent immediately.
We want you to have a wonderful summer that is filled with happy memories with your pet. Have fun and be safe!
If you are in our area and have concerns about your pet's health, our caring and knowledgeable vets are here to help. You can reach us at 281-970-0601.
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