How to Protect Your Pets From a Heatstroke This Summer from How to Protect Your Pets From a Heatstroke This Summer

How to Protect Your Pets From a Heatstroke This Summer

If you want to be a responsible pet parent and do everything you can to keep your pets cool in the summer heat, you should educate yourself on how to protect them from a heatstroke.

Many pets can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do. Dogs pant, while cats lick themselves to regulate their body temperatures.

Make sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion. Very young and very old dogs are usually at higher risk.

According to the Humane Society, if your pet is suffering from a heatstroke you should move him or her into the shade or air conditioned area, then apply cold towels or icepacks to their head, neck and chest. Make sure they drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubs then take him/her directly to the veterinarian.

Continue reading for ways to protect your pets from a heatstroke this summer.

Don’t cut your pets hair

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While you may think your pet’s fur coat is making them warmer, the truth is that it’s actually providing them with heat relief. The ASPCA explains it’s like insulation for your home; it stops them from getting too cold in the winter and overheating in the summer. It also provides your pet protection from sunburn.

Provide access to fresh water at all times

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Like humans, pets can get dehydrated. It’s important to keep them hydrated by providing them access to fresh water at all times. Carry it around with you and offer it to them at least once every 30 minutes.

Take them swimming or hose them down with water

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Similar to humans, when we get really hot, a nice dip in the pool or splash of cold water helps cool us off. Allowing your pet to swim or hosing them down with cool water, will help him or her maintain a normal body temperature.

Never leave them in a parked car

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Contrary to what many people believe, leaving your windows cracked will not stop the temperature from rising inside of the car, and leaving the air conditioner running is just as bad. On a hot day, car temperatures can reach around 120 degrees in a few minutes. This is extremely dangerous for your pet’s safety.

Keep your home cool

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Always keep your home cool to prevent your pet from overheating. Air conditioning is one of the best ways to do that. While you’re on your run, keep the AC running at home, so when you get back, your pet can get comfortable and relax in a cool environment. Tip: Put ice in a bag with some water and place it on the ground for your pet to lay on.

Avoid bringing your pet to summer events

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It’s hot, crowded, loud and overwhelming to bring your pet to a summer event. According to Low Country Dog, if they are exposed to heat during the summer, their temperature can rise to 105 degrees. That, combined with the excitement and ruckus of an event, is sure to send your pet into a danger zone.

Use pet sunscreens

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Yes, your pet can get sunburned. They are susceptible to the same damage from UV rays humans are. Use a pet sunscreen to protect them from the damage of the sun’s rays. Try a Petkin Doggy Sunstick or a Coola Pet Sunscreen Spray.

Avoid exercising with your pet on hot days

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If it’s too hot; avoid exercising with your pet. Depending on your pet’s fitness level, they may be able to withstand the heat longer than others. But if you really need to get outdoors, it is advised to take them out in the morning, evening or on shady trails.

Be aware of humidity

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Dogs specifically do not have sweat glands, they “sweat” through their foot pads and panting. According to Low Country Dog, “as humidity rises, water cannot evaporate as well so the heat will not evaporate effectively. This makes dogs more susceptible to heat related diseases such as heat stroke in the summer months.”

Check your pets for ticks and fleas

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Although they may not cause heatstroke, you should constantly be checking your pet for heartworms, fleas and ticks. Heartworms can be fatal for cats and dogs if untreated. Keep your dogs away from wooded areas and don’t take them on any wilderness adventures in the summertime.

Walk your pet on grass or dirt

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Avoid walking your pet on hot pavement, it can burn their paws. Also be careful when walking on asphalt and sand, it can get so hot that it burns your pets paws, not to mention, they are walking much closer to the ground than you, so it is hotter and the heat is reaching them much faster than it reaches you.

Do not muzzle your dog

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Dogs pant when they are overheating. Doing so helps them regulate their body temperature. If you muzzle them, you are taking away their ability to pant, causing them to hold all of the heat inside of them, this may result in a heatstroke.

Don’t let your pets in the heat that have predisposing conditions

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If your pet is already suffering from a predisposing condition, such as heart disease, obesity, older age etc. they are at a higher risk of having a heatstroke.

Avoid going to places with no access to shade

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It is best to avoid going anywhere with direct sunlight. No shade means no way out, which can be detrimental to the health of your pet. Some places to avoid are the beach and asphalt areas where heat is reflected. *See: 10 Ways the Beach Can Kill You