Keep Your Furry Friends Cool: Prevent Heatstroke in Pets
As temperatures start to warm, it's essential to prioritize the well-being of our beloved pets. Heatstroke is potentially life-threatening for pets, particularly those with thick fur coats or shorter snouts. Fortunately, with proper precautions, we can keep our furry friends safe and comfortable.
Recognizing the Signs of Heatstroke
As pawrents, it's important to recognize the signs so we can give care as soon as possible. Heatstroke can occur when pets are in high temperatures for long periods or when doing physical activity. Common symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.
Providing Ample Hydration
Proper hydration is paramount to help your pet regulate body temperature and avoid overheating. Make sure that pets have a constant supply of fresh, clean water. On hot days, add ice cubes to the water bowls or invest in a pet-friendly water fountain to keep the water cool and enticing.
Create a Cool Environment
When outdoors make sure your pets have access to shaded areas with trees or canopies. Indoors, use air conditioning or fans to circulate air. Do NOT leave your pets in cars.
Limit Outdoor Activities
When days are especially hot, limit outdoor activities during the hottest hours. Take walks during the cooler morning or evening hours when temperatures are coolers. Before going on walks, use the 7 Second Rule by placing the back of your hand against the pavement for 7 seconds to determine how hot it will be; if it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for their paws.
Try Cooling Products
In the summer, cooling pads can offer some relief from the heat. They absorb heat from their bodies and provide a cooling sensation. Also, consider cooling vests, bandanas, and giving them a frozen treat to help regulate their body temperature.
Grooming is crucial to help pets cope with the heat. Brushing their coats regularly removes loose fur and prevents matting, allowing for better airflow to their skin. However, some long-haired breeds actually need their fur as insulation form the heat. Speak with your vet or groomer to determine the best course of action for your pet.
Preventing heatstroke requires us to be proactive. To be responsible pet parents, we must create comfortable environments and groom them when necessary. Make sure to share this information with your friends and family when they may be pet-sitting for you on hot days.