Summer is here and all the excitement and freedom to roam that it brings. Family adventures and outdoor fun await. Summer can also bring some challenges along with it. Heat-related issues like dehydration, sunburn, and heat exhaustion can affect both cats and dogs, putting them at risk.
At Eastown Veterinary Clinic, we are here to help you make the most of every moment with your four-legged family members. Here are some tips for keeping your pets safe and comfortable during the summer heat.
⦁ Hydration is crucial: Water is essential for ensuring that pets stay hydrated in hot weather. Put a fresh, clean water bowl in a cool and comfortable place. Set up multiple bowls in a strategic place throughout the house and outside if your pets use the yard at different times.
⦁ Never leave your pet in a parked car: Even with the windows cracked, the inside of a parked car can reach dangerous temperatures within a couple of minutes. Let them stay home if they can’t come with you where you’re going.
⦁ Take walks during cooler hours of the day: If you usually take your pets for walks, plan these for the cooler hours first thing in the morning or late evening, when it’s typically cooler outside.
⦁ Maintain a consistent indoor temperature: Keep your home cool and the temperature as consistent as possible to prevent heat exhaustion. If you need to use air conditioners, leave them running while your pets are home alone to ensure that they are comfortable by adjusting the temperature to a minimum of 76–78 degrees.
⦁ Don't shave your pet's fur: Although you may think that shaving your pet's hair can help them regulate their body temperature, it may not help them in the long term and beware of overexposure to the elements. For many pets, their fur acts as an insulator and serves to regulate their body temperature.
⦁ Fun pet-friendly to keep your furry friends (literally) chilled and involved: You can also offer frozen treats or toys to help them cool off like using ice, frozen fruits, or whipped cream (be sure to avoid ingredients, like xylitol, that may be dangerous for pets). Ice cubes inside rubber or silicon toys can provide both entertainment and refreshment.
⦁ Look for signs of heat injury: Signs and symptoms of heatstroke in pets can include drooling, heavy panting, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, staggering, collapsing, muscle fatigue, and some even develop seizures. If you notice these, go to an emergency veterinary clinic ASAP. If you have any questions, please call us at 616.451.1810.
Summer heat is enjoyable, and with the right planning and preparation, it can be safe too!
If you have any questions, please call us at 616.451.1810.