Your poor pooch has been holed up all winter long, slowly building up energy day by day until it’s ready to explode with the zoomies. Or, maybe your cat has been staring forlornly out the window each day, wishing it was out on the prowl instead of stuck scratching the same old cat post (or couch) over and over again.
Pets can get the winter blues just like humans, but the good news is that summer is here! With it, so are the outdoor adventures your buddy’s been waiting for. Before you go out enjoying the sun, though, remember that your pet can quickly go from happy to heat exhausted if you aren’t careful. So, keep a few of these tips in mind to make sure your furry best friend is enjoying the summer as much as you are.
1. Water and Shade
Think about how quickly you start to feel uncomfortable when you’re thirsty, and there’s no water around. How about when the sun is beating down, and you want a light breeze or some shade?
Humans are pretty good at stopping at the convenience store to grab a quick drink when they’re feeling thirsty while out and about. Our pets aren’t as good at that, though. Maybe it’s the lack of opposable thumbs—they can’t pop open a soda can or unscrew a water bottle. That’s why they have us. When you’re out, make sure to bring some extra water for Fido and give them plenty of chances to drink.
Shade can be just as important. If your dog is feeling too hot from the sun, they may even start tugging you towards some cool shade themselves. If they’re doing that, it’s time to get them in the air conditioning.
Do you know how hot the inside of your car feels when you first get inside of it? How you’re rushing to get the A/C going as soon as possible, windows down, sweating before you even get out of the parking lot?
When you leave your pet in the car, even for just a few minutes, you’re subjecting them to that same level of heat. Cracking the window a bit isn’t enough. Even if it’s only 80 degrees out, the temperature inside the car can quickly jump to over 100 in just a few minutes.
So take your pet with you when you’re out and about. Never leave pets in the car.
3. Know the Signs
One of the best ways to keep your pets healthy in the sun is to know the signs for heat exhaustion. First, cats and dogs don’t sweat, so they cool off by panting. If your pet is panting excessively, they are probably having trouble cooling themselves off and need your help. Some other signs are thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea, and wobbly legs.
If your pet shows any of these signs, get them in the shade and drinking some water. You don’t want to submerge them in cold water, though, as that can lead to shock if they’re already heat exhausted. Once you get them someplace cool, give us a call for advice or bring your pet in and we’ll give them a thorough check up to make sure things are A-okay.
Summer is fun! Let’s keep it that way for both ourselves and our pets. Take these tips with you the next time you let your furry friend out of the house, and you’ll guarantee a happy time. For more tips on caring for your pet, make an appointment with the team at American Veterinary Hospital today!