The school year coming to a close, people are planning their summer adventures and the temperatures are starting to rise. Our pets tend to be a big part of those adventures and go everywhere with our families in the summer, but there are a few hidden hazards that can sneak up on your four-legged friends!
The heat alone can be daunting, but just imagine having a thick, insulating fur coat on top of that temperature. Heat exhaustion is a real danger for our pets in summer. In very short periods of time (as little as ten minutes) a pet can become over-heated causing brain and organ damage, heart failure and even death. Older pets and puppies and kittens are more susceptible, but heat does discriminate and the signs of heat exhaustion are similar to people; panting heavily, drooling, lethargy, disorientation, vomiting, and loss of consciousness or even seizures can be major clues that your pet is in serious danger. Although heat exhaustion is often fatal, rapid veterinary care can improve your pet’s chances of recovery.
The best (and sometimes only) way to treat heat exhaustion is prevention and the good news is heat exhaustion can be prevented with a little bit of planning ahead! Be aware of how hot it is outside when leaving your pets in cars, tied up outside or even when going for a walk. Hot pavement and being active definitely contribute to rising body temperatures and hot pavement can burn your pet’s foot pads. Having water and shade available is helpful, but is not a foolproof way of preventing heat exhaustion. Keep an eye on the thermometer and be prepared to bring your pets into a cool, climate controlled space for those scorchers.