In case you haven't noticed, the winter chill is (FINALLY) gone and that wonderful Iowa warm weather is here!
Our team has brainstormed some important things to think about now that you and your pet can enjoy the great outdoors more often. We'll be sharing several of them here on our blog over the next couple of weeks to help you and your pet stay safe, happy, and healthy this summer - but let's start by talking about the heat itself.
While exercise and the outdoors can be wonderful for our pets, it’s important for us to remember that not all animals handle heat in the same way. Even if you are comfortable, your pet may not be. Below are a few tips to make sure your furry friend is enjoying the weather as much as you are!
- Do not leave your pet alone in the car. Even if the windows are cracked, the inside can quickly rise to an unsafe temperature.
- Avoid excessive activity outdoors or transporting in a carrier on especially hot days.
- If you are going on walks, try to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon to catch the coolest parts of the day. Before you start, do a quick test to make sure the pavement/ground your pup is walking on won’t hurt them. Place the back of your hand on the ground – if it is uncomfortable after five seconds, it’s too hot for paws.
- Don’t forget about humidity. Your pet doesn’t sweat like we do; they release heat through their mouth and paws. If the air has too much moisture in it, it will be harder for them to cool down.
- If your pet is going to spend time outdoors for a long time, be sure to provide shade and access to lots of water.
- If you’re going out and about, you should always double check before leaving to make sure you will have plenty of water for your pet. If you happen to forget, try not to allow them to drink from street puddles that may contain antifreeze and other toxic chemicals.
- Keep your pet well-groomed over the summer months. Reducing hair length and matting can help them stay cool – no one wants to wear their winter clothes in the hot sun! For some pets, shaving may increase their risk for sunburn, so instead, a nice short cut and brushing out at home or by your groomer can make a huge difference.
Some animals are at higher risk of heat stroke:
- Breeds with short airways such as Persian cats, pugs and boxers
- Long hair
- Puppies and kittens
- Old / geriatric
Some signs of distress to look for:
- Heavy panting
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Unsteadiness or stumbling
When you notice any of these symptoms start by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Get your pet to your veterinary clinic or an emergency veterinary hospital as soon as possible, as internal damage may already be done.
Hopefully these tips come in handy when you're out and about enjoying those sunny days. As always, the All-Pets team is always here for questions or to hear any tips or stories you have about this topic. Feel free to leave a comment below!
BONUS: Check out this delicious pup-sicle recipe to help cool down while playing in the heat. (Click Here)