It’s summertime! And this year – it’s summer with a vengeance! Almost everyone knows that hot weather can be dangerous and the hotter the temperatures, the greater the risks. But did you know that animals too can get heat stroke, just like us?
With record temperatures this year, it’s an even greater risk than usual. Take care to keep your cool this summer, but also remember to take care of your pets.
Here are a few tips for keeping your pet comfy and safe through this scorching summer:-
Make sure that plenty of water is available for your pet at all times. Ensure that the water is cool and fresh, and always keep it in the shade. Put out multiple water bowls on hot days. Use containers that can’t be tipped over. Add a few cubes of ice as well.
Exercise your pets only in the early morning or late evening. Avoid the hottest times of the day. Dogs tend to enjoy basking in the sun. Too much time spent in the sun can cause heat stroke and also increase the risk of skin cancer.
Help your dog keep cool with a kid’s paddling pool. But fill it with just a couple of inches of water, and place it in a shady location.
If your pets can’t be in an air-conditioned area, consider having a fan where it can blow and cool them.
Give some frozen treats to your pets. It will help cool them down and also keep them busy for a while.
Some long-haired/thick-coated dogs can benefit from a trim. Check with your vet or pet groomer.
Signs to watch out for
Keep a watch on your pets especially during hot spells; watch out for indications that they are having difficulty with the heat.
Signs that your dog is in distress due to heat include fatigue, drooling, heavy panting or obvious difficulty in breathing and vomiting, diarrhea or seizures.
Older pets are more susceptible to heat, so keep an eye out for them. Watch out for symptoms that they are having trouble breathing.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Check the dog’s rectal temperature every 10 minutes and continue treatment until the temperature is below 39 degrees. If the dog cools down below 40 degrees, moving the dog into a cooler environment may be sufficient.
However, If the temperature stays above 40
Spray the dog with cool water, or rub down with a cold towel. One can also apply ice packs to the belly and groin area, and immerse its paws in cool water.
Even if you suspect only a mild case of heat stroke and feel you’ve treated it successfully, you should still get your pet to a vet. Heat stroke can result in serious internal problems that may not be immediately apparent, at times possibly for days after the event.
Summer is funtime for lots of activities, but also a time of potential danger, for both you and your pet. Take care of yourself, of your pets, stay cool – and have fun!
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