Everyone Wins With Summer Pet Safety
San Antonio’s average summer heat index ranks in the top 10 hottest U.S. cities, but we can handle it! In fact, we’re known to embrace (or at least happily tolerate) our sweltering conditions, but what about the pets we share our lives with? Here are the top summer pet safety tips to beat the Texas heat.
They may be just as tough as we are – until they’re not. Undoubtedly, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are very real threats to summer pet safety. Reduce risks to your pet with our tips that aim to keep your pet cool and comfortable this summer and all year long.
The combination of high heat and extreme humidity creates a lethal heat index, and all pets can quickly become victims of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. In fact, these two emergencies are commonly treated throughout the summer months and can affect cats, dogs, pocket pets, and birds.
Know What to Look For
Heat exhaustion can be characterized by the following signs:
- Rapid respiration or heavy panting
- Weakness or lethargy
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Some pets are predisposed to the effects of the sun and heat, such as senior pets, puppies and kittens, flat-faced pets, overweight or obese pets, thick or dark-coated animals, and those with compromised immune systems. All animals require extra vigilance and support during extreme weather conditions, but special attention must be applied in these unique cases.
Cats and dogs do not sweat like humans. They do, however, release heat through their paws and by panting in attempts to regulate internal body temperature. The best summer pet safety tips include the following ways to cool down an animal:
- Dehydration is a major component in heat exhaustion and stroke. Have a fresh supply of cool, clean water in various places throughout the yard and home.
- Supply ample shade.
- Have fans and air conditioning units running.
- Keep your pet in a cool area with a cross breeze.
- Fill a kiddie pool or run a sprinkler for your pet to cool down in.
- Do not leave your pet unattended outside or in a parked vehicle.
- Walk your dog during the coolest parts of the day (around dawn or dusk).
- Avoid exposure to the elements in the middle of the day.
- Exotic pets need cross ventilation in a spot away from a sunny window.
- Do not put off medical care if you believe your pet is suffering the effects of the heat.
What to Do in a Pet Emergency
Left alone, heat exhaustion or heatstroke can result in collapse, seizure, coma, or even death. Our doctors and staff are always here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a summer pet safety emergency.