13 Apr How to Protect Your Pet From Summer Heat?
Summer heat makes everyone retreat indoors. During peak summer hours, it is far preferable to unwind indoors, perhaps while sipping a refreshing beverage. Foods with high water content are recommended, moisturizers and sunscreen are needed, and relief from the heat is wanted. While we can lather ourselves with various sunblock’s and lotions, our pets are not quite so fortunate, and require some consideration to keep comfortable.
Our pets are especially susceptible to heat-related maladies, and as they often cannot voice their discomfort, the onus is on the pet owner to keep an eye on their pet and recognize the detrimental effects hot climate may have. The good news is, with a little bit of awareness and extra effort, your pet should be as happy in the heat as anywhere else.
Dehydration and Heatstroke Prevention
Unlike humans, most household pets cannot sweat. The ones who can usually only manage this through their paw pads, which are not large enough in surface area to dissipate the heat; a hot climate only serves to exacerbate this, so ensure your pet’s fluid intake is sufficient. Dehydration is the simple condition where a body loses more fluid than its intake, ensuring your pet isn’t dehydrated is a simple matter of giving them frequent hydration and being observant for any symptoms of the condition.
Some Signs of Dehydration Are as Follows:
- Dry nose
- Gum dryness
- Thick saliva
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of elasticity in the skin
You can keep your pet hydrated through water-rich foods, a wet diet, and making sure their water bowl is always full of fresh water. If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke or showing more than one symptom, go to your vet immediately as your pet may require professional attention to recover correctly.
- Heavy panting
- Fast breathing
- Lots of drooling
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Trouble with balance
The Side Effects of Further Developed Heatstroke Are:
- White or blue gums
- Uncontrolled peeing or defecating
- Worked up or uproarious and unrelaxed
Your pet’s temperature should never exceed 104 Degrees Fahrenheit. You can shower water on your pet and fan them until their temperature falls under 102 degrees Fahrenheit. You may give them small quantities of water or small ice cubes once they have cooled off a little. If you are unable to reduce their temperature, head to a vet immediately. Your pet may require specialist attention.
Here Are A Few Ways You Can Help Your Pet Stay Cool in The Hot Months:
- Hydration: Your pet gets dehydrated much, much faster than you, and therefore their fluid intake must be more frequent than yours. Make sure your pet’s water bowl is full throughout the day. You can also switch to a wet or mixed diet for your pet, so their food can contribute towards their daily hydration. Substitute the usual snacks for something sweet and high in water content, like a small piece or watermelon (do remove the seeds).
- Keep Windows Shut: Making sure your pet’s environment is cool is important. Open windows and direct sunlight can quickly heat up your residence, so keep your pet within shade and keep your house cool as you can.
- Grooming: Your pet needs to be groomed before summer arrives, especially if they have multiple coats or longer fur. A trim for their coat can go a long way in helping them keep their body temperature down, but don’t trim it too short, as direct sunlight on their skin can cause sunburn.
- Walks and Exercise Times: Exercise causes a body to heat up. During summers, walks can heat your pet up more than usual, so some planning is required. The timing might feel inconvenient at first, but walking your pet during cooler hours of the day is an easy way to help your pet get their exercise while staying cool and free of heat related sicknesses.
- Paw Protection: Pet’s can’t wear protection for their paws like we wear shoes, so adjustments are required to prevent any damage to them while outdoors. Roads, pavements, and gardens can all be scorching hot, both during the day in the sun, and later in the evening while those surfaces cool down. If you’re walking your pet in the morning or afternoon, do a simple test. Put the back of your hand on the walking surface. If it’s hot enough to the point where you cannot keep your hand on it for more than a second or two, then it’s far too hot for your pet to be walking on. Keep away from such hot surfaces to prevent any nasty surprises while outdoors.
- Vet Visits: Heatstroke is a serious condition. While mentioned earlier, your vet is an extremely important person, and you should have their contact details on hand if you live in an area with a hot climate. Before the onset of summer, schedule a visit with your vet to get a complete health checkup, and spot any issues which may present themselves in the near future.
- Travelling: If the temperature in your area becomes unbearable, taking a break is a good idea. Travelling with your pet to a cooler region or a neighboring city/state can provide some much-needed respite for both of you. It also gives you the advantage of keeping cool while relaxing; train travel with your pet is economical and serves as a wonderful opportunity to unwind on a journey with your pet away from the scorching sun. Remember to vaccinate your pet before embarking on any form of travel, as basic inoculations like a rabies vaccine & DHPP are important for their health at home and when on journeys.
Our pets are our family, and they deserve to be cared for as such. Doing the needful is great, but by keeping a few simple tips in mind, you can keep your pet as healthy, happy, safe, and comfortable as you’d ever want them to be.