Keeping your pet safe in the summer heat ~ By Yvonne


Yvonne's dog, Pepper

Yvonne’s dog, Pepper

 It’s almost that time of year–summer.  And along with summer  comes hot temperatures and stifling humidity.  In the scorching months of summer, it’s important to make sure your pet is cool and comfortable.  Heat stroke is not just a condition that can affect humans; animals are also at risk, specifically outdoor pets. Brachycephalic breeds(short-nosed breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs) and larger thick coated breeds are at a higher risk for heat stroke.

 Indoor pets can also be affected if they are left in a hot vehicle or by being in an indoor environment that is not properly cooled. 

Here are some ways to avoid heat stroke:

  • If your pet stays outdoors, make sure that the pet has an adequate shady area that remains shady all day.  Plenty of clean drinking water throughout the day in a dish that the pet cannot knock over.
  • If exercising with your animal (walking, jogging, and running) do so early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperatures tend to be cooler. Be sure to bring fresh drinking water to keep your pet hydrated.
  • NEVER leave your pet in the car, even if it is overcast outside. This could be deadly in just a matter of minutes.

These are some signs of heatstroke:

  • Body temperatures of 104F – 110F
  • Excessive panting
  • Staggering
  • Seizures
  • Sticky dry tongue and gums
  • Dark or bright red tongue and gums
  • Bloody diarrhea or vomiting
  • Collapse

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek veterinary care immediately. Heat stroke can become deadly in a short amount of time.  To cool down your pet, find some shade and use cool water(not ice cold water ) and moving air(such as a fan) to try and lower the body temperature until you can get your pet to the veterinary clinic.