With average temperatures ranging from the high 70s to the high 80s, many people might not realize that even a Northern California summer can quickly become too hot for an animal. It’s dry and dusty outside, which exacerbates the problem. Before you spend all your time outside with your furry friend, MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital wants you to consider these summer pet safety tips:
How Hot Is Too Hot for My Pet?
Active pets in temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit could be at risk for overheating (hyperthermia). If untreated, this can lead to serious health issues, including strokes and death. Even if they’re not active, laying in the hot sun with little air circulation can have devastating consequences for your pets.
Some symptoms of heat exhaustion (hyperthermia) in dogs and cats include:
- Dehydration—panting, fever, lethargy, dizziness, dry nose
- Fast pulse
- Muscle tremors
- Vomiting or diarrhea
How Can I Keep My Pets Cool in the Summer Heat?
The best way to keep pets safe in summer is to completely avoid heat exhaustion. Be sure to do the following to ensure your pet’s stay nice and cool as outside temperatures rise:
- When it’s too hot outside, bring your pets into the house. Air conditioning cools them too!
- If your pets are outside, provide shady areas and lots of water.
- Walk your pets during cooler hours.
- Do not walk your pets on hot sand or pavement. Their pads will burn and blister.
- Place a kiddie pool in the shade. Let your dog relax in the cool comfort of its own pool!
- Do not leave your pet in a hot car—the heat inside a vehicle without air conditioning can soar within minutes, which can put your pet at risk of death
Water, Water, Water, and Shade Offer Optimal Relief
Besides keeping your pets cool, you have to provide them with shade and water to prevent them from overheating.
- Keep their water bowls full of fresh, clean water.
- Provide kiddie pools for pets to let them cool down to comfortable levels.
- Keep water sources in the shade. Do not let water bowls or puppy pool water heat up in the sun.
What If I think My Pet is Overheated?
If your pet’s nose is dry, they’re panting without stopping, and stumble when they walk, they are likely suffering from heat exhaustion and are at risk for stroke and death. The following can help you avoid a serious summertime pet emergency:
- For small dogs, puppies, and cats, wet their coats in lukewarm water.
- For larger dogs, soak their coats in cool (not cold!) water.
- Pay special attention to cooling their ears and their paws with cool water.
- You can use a fan to help dry their fur and use a pet thermometer to track their temperatures. Any temp above 103 degrees means your pet is still dangerously hot.
- Offer them cool water to drink. Do not give them cold water or ice cubes.
The veterinarians and staff at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital are here to help you in an emergency and with your pet’s wellness care.
Even after your pet has cooled down, it is critically important that you call us at (916) 939‑1705 as soon as you suspect your pet is in heat distress. We will advise you on the first steps to cool your pet.