Meteorologists predict that the summer of 2021 will be hotter than usual for much of the U.S. Even a moderately warm summer day can spell trouble for our pets, so protection will be extra important with the hottest months of summer on the way.
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke occurs when a person or pet’s body can no longer regulate its internal temperature.
This condition can quickly lead to serious complications, including neurological problems, kidney failure and even death.
Warning signs of heatstroke
Once pets begin to overheat, heatstroke progresses fast. if you notice any of these signs in pets, to seek immediate veterinary assistance.
High risk factors
Dogs and cats rely on panting, grooming and external cooling (such as cold water or surfaces) to regulate their internal body temperature. This makes overheating dangerously easy.
Some pets are more at risk that others due to their overall health or physical features. These factors put some pets in even more danger than others:
Shorter snout: Pets with short snouts have tighter, more complex airways, and often need to work harder to get sufficient oxygen
Obesity: Overweight pets often experience restricted breathing and generally have more body to keep cool
Heart or lung disease: Temperature can aggravate existing disease conditions as the body puts work into staying cool
Age: Senior pets and very young pets are more sensitive to heat
Size: Larger pets typically overheat faster than smaller ones
Cooling down hot pets
If you’re concerned about the heat, here are some smart ways to cool down your pet:
Turn on a fan or AC to create a cool breeze
Give them fresh, cold water with ice cubes
Spray them with water or provide a shallow wading pool
Apply a wet towel, ice pack or frozen water bottle to their neck
Give them frozen toys and treats
Keep pets safe by avoiding the heat
Of course, the best way to prevent heatstroke is to stay out of the heat.
Save walks and exercise for cooler early mornings or evenings
Limit playtime during the hot hours of the day
Ensure pets have access to fresh water at all times
Keep crates and cages out of direct sunlight
Never leave pets in unventilated areas like cars or garages
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