It seems like only a few weeks ago I was writing about how cold it was outside and the dangers of frigid temperatures to our furry friends. Well, as everything does, times have changed all too quickly. With the forecasted temperatures well into the upper 90's and Heat index's above that it is time to review how to make your "hot dog" a "cool cat". Cats and Dogs do not sweat like we do so keeping cool is much harder for their bodies. Panting is the most significant way dogs have to cool themselves as they try to quickly pass cooler air over the surface of their tongue. Cats in general do not pant so if your cat is panting it could be a sign of a serious problem and please call a veterinarian for assistance.
Here are some ways to keep everyone cool on a hot day:
- If possible keep pets indoors during the hottest part of the day; usually 10-3
- Keep plenty of water available for your pets to drink, dehydration is a real threat
- If your pet must be outside provide shade for them
- Keep activities to a minimum (don't play fetch in the hot sun)
- Many dogs will enjoy a kiddie pool to cool off
- Be EXTREMELY careful of hot pavement! If you wouldn't walk on it in bare feet they shouldn't either. Their foot pads can be burnt by pavement.
- Air conditioning is great, but if you don't have that the next best thing is a fan and moving air.
- Overweight dogs and cats are at higher risk for over heating, they are carrying and extra layer of warmth!
- Short face dogs and cats (Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, Himalayans etc) are EXTREMELY sensitive to hot humid weather. They do not exchange air as efficiently as long nose dogs and cats and their throats are prone to swelling. PLEASE keep any dog or cat with breathing difficulties as cool as possible.
- Heat stroke in dogs is life threatening! If your dog becomes lethargic and unresponsive after being out in the sun it is an EMERGENCY. Once their core temperature begins to climb they may not survive. Cool them down with cool no cold water and get them to a Veterinarian ASAP!
Remember if you are too hot so is your pet! Enjoy the outdoors, but keep an eye on your furry friend when the temperatures soar.