In the warm days of summer, everyone wants to keep cool and comfortable. It is most important of all though for your pets to stay cool as they are at risk of heatstroke. Since they cannot sweat as we can, we need to provide opportunities to keep them cool on hot days. Heatstroke can cause, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, excessive panting, sticky or dry gums, red gums, staggering, lethargy, and in worst cases seizures or death. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, please visit your nearest veterinarian.
There are many ways to keep your pet cool on warm days:
- The best thing on a hot day would be to leave your pet indoors in a cool, air-conditioned environment.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, you can use fans to increase air circulation.
- If you are bringing your pet outside on a hot day, ensure you are providing lots of water for them. You can bring water in a bottle or bring a travel water dish for them to drink from. Please also provide lots of water at home for them. You can even add ice cubes to it to make it extra cold.
- While you are out, you can even lightly mist water from a bottle on your dog’s fur to keep them cool.
- Ensure your pet has a shady area to cool off, if outside at a park or in the backyard.
- You can provide a small kids pool for your dog to play and cool off in. Adding toys to the pool may help entice them to go in.
- You can bring your pet to the beach or a dog park with water areas.
- You can also freeze water in a large bowl or bucket with toys and treats inside. Once it is completely frozen, you can place it outside for them to lick.
- Do not leave your pets in a vehicle, even if the windows are down, or even if it’s for a few minutes. Even a few minutes can be too long. Heat in a car can rise very quickly.
- Don’t take your pet for a run in the middle of the day. Aim for walks early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is going down.
- Don’t exercise your pet excessively in the summer. Aim for short walks at cooler times of the day.
Written by McLean Animal Hospital