Last summer was hot, but this summer temperatures have been even higher. As difficult as hot weather can be on a person, it can be equally challenging – if not worse – for pets. Here are some tips about how to keep your pets safe and happy when the temperature soars.
How do pets react in hot and humid conditions?
Panting is one way that dogs (and cats too) will often cool themselves. Also, they will “sweat” from the pads of their feet.
How can a person know if it is “too hot” for their pet?
Pet owners should pay careful attention to how their pet breathes when resting, as compared to light activity or heavy exercise. That way they will be more aware of signs when a pet gets too hot. For instance, if a pet is panting hard when laying inert on the floor, breathing with its mouth open, seeming listless, or suffering from a lack of appetite or diarrhea – these are clinical signs of when a pet is too hot. If your pet is suffering from those symptoms do not encourage them to do any vigorous exercise – it could be dangerous.
Are there some things that pet owners should never do when it’s hot?
Absolutely. It’s imperative that pet owners never leave their pet in the car on a warm or hot day, even with the windows down. And pet owners need to recalculate their idea of what “warm or hot” is. Sixty degrees might not feel that warm to a person who’s in and out of the car, but to a pet that’s stuck in that car in the sun it can quickly escalate from an uncomfortable temperature to a potentially fatal one.
Are there certain things that pet owners can do to help their pets in hot weather?
Yes, definitely. The first thing to realize is that pets need a lot of water all the time, but especially when temperatures spike. So, try to keep cool fresh water available to pets and if you are away from home during the day you might even consider getting a pet fountain that keeps a stream of cool water running into a bowl. They start at around fifty dollars, but they provide peace of mind during heat waves when your pet is home alone. Also, make sure that pets have access to shade or shelter and ensure that they aren’t kept in a confined area on a hot or humid day.