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Keeping your pets safe and cool this summer

Summer is here and that means steamy temperatures. While most of us find ways to deal with the heat and stay comfortable, think about how hard it is for your pets. They have to go through the summer with a fur coat on! To make things worse, they don’t sweat like we do. Dogs and cats only have sweat glands in their paw pads. Dogs also pant to lower their body temperatures but this is usually abnormal behavior in cats. If you notice your cat is panting, it is most likely in distress. Since our pets aren’t able to cool themselves off as easy as we can, we need to help them. Read on to learn more about how to keep your pets cool and safe all summer long.

Dog enjoying summer playtime
Photo by Terry Wyatt

Safety First
Never ever leave your pet in the car. Ever. Even parked in the shade, a car’s temperature can quickly shoot up to over 100F in the summer. Any pet left in such a situation is likely to suffer fatal heat exhaustion. Rolling down the window a bit won’t help. Just leave your pet at home when you go out. It’s the only safe thing to do when temps soar.

AC Please
Fans don’t do much for pets, and the sound and breeze may make some of them anxious. Your pets will do best in an air conditioned room. If you must take your pet outside in hot temps makes sure they have plenty of shade and fresh cold water. . A cooling mat or vest may be helpful as well.

Cats and dogs are as prone to heatstroke as we are, especially very young and old animals, and those with shortened snouts like Pugs and Persian cats. If your pet is exhibiting signs of heatstroke, including drooling, heavy panting, unsteady gait, bright red or purple tongue, excessive thirst or seizures, get them into a cool room, pour cool water over them, apply ice packs to the neck and chest, and see that they need to get to a vet right away.

With just a little common sense and preparation, your pet will get through the steamy weather comfortably and safely.

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