Handling the Heat

When I started this article series, the weather outside was hot, steamy and summer all around. Although the temperatures have changed, summer is still on its way and along with the longer days comes the heat.

For the past couple weeks, we have discussed the nature and risks of heat stroke. Every year I treat several patients for heat stroke with mixed outcomes. Here are a few key points to helping your pets handle the upcoming heat.

  1. Consider their coat. Some breeds will do much better handling the heat with a summer haircut. Consult your groomer or veterinarian on a good cut for your pet.
  2. Make sure shade and shelter are available. If your pet spends their days outside, make sure they have somewhere to get out of the beating sun and cool off. Beware of dog houses that can act as incubators and be hotter inside than out!
  3. Water the well. Keep a full, clean bowl of water around for your pet. Always go for a larger bowl than you think your pets need and change the water daily to encourage them to drink well.
  4. Beware of your pet’s health. If your pet has any existing medical issues such as heart conditions or is overweight they are more prone to the side effects of heat.
  5. Watch out for the “HOT ones”. Some days are just too hot for any pet. Prepare a great temperature controlled, cool space for your pets to stay safe for the hot days.

Keep your eyes peeled on the thermometer this summer and be prepared to keep your pets safe and comfortable.

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