Temperatures are already heating up around here, and were definitely finding it the perfect cure after these last few weeks of rain. But are your pets enjoying the heat? It’s very important for pet owners to be aware of the risk of heat stress in your pets.
Certain breeds are more prone to suffering from heat stress, like Bulldogs, Pugs and Persians, because of their long coats and short snouts. It’s important to implement measures to keep your pet cool on hot days, as heat stroke can be life threatening.
How to Avoid Heat Stress
Unlike humans, who are able to sweat to loose heat, dogs and cats cannot regulate their temperature in this way and rely mainly on panting and external cooling to lose heat from their bodies. This limits their ability to regulate their body temperature, which is why pet owners need to take action to minimize the risk of heat stress.
Some things you can do include:
- Ensuring your pet has access to shade when outside, and the freedom to move into shaded areas;
- Ensuring your pet has access to fresh drinking water inside and outside the house (ensure they are placed in a shady spot if outside and consider placing an extra bowl or two if you are leaving the house;
- Avoiding excessive exercise/ avoiding exercise during the hot parts of the day/avoiding exercise entirely on very hot days;
- Not leaving pets in the car, even with the windows open.
Signs of Heat Stress in your Pet
Being aware of signs of heatstroke may allow you to act quickly and prevent internal organ damage. These signs may include:
- Excessive panting progressing to breathing distress;
- Drooling, salivation
- Very red or very pale gums;
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Restlessness, delirium, agitation,
What to do if your suspect your pet has heat stress?
If your concerned that your pet it suffering from heat stress, remove your pet from the hot environment, wrap him or her in a wet towel or spray him or her with cool water onto the skin and fan to maximize heat loss and take home into your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible.