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Dr.Tail

How to Enjoy a Safe Summer with Your Pets, Pt. 2

A dog diving into the water.
Photo by Nima Sarram on Unsplash

Summertime is finally here! We are experiencing higher temperatures, which means you and your pet can enjoy more outdoor activities this time of year! However, there are some precautions that you should keep in mind to keep your pet safe.


Heat stroke

Since pets with heat stroke can come on suddenly, fur parents are often not aware that their pets are getting heat stroke. However, you should understand that heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that can happen to any of your animal families.


Causes: Different regulation of body temperature compared to humans

  • Dogs and cats, unlike humans, cannot regulate their body temperature efficiently. The sweat glands around their feet and nose are inadequate for optimal thermoregulation.
  • Panting and cold environment are key for thermoregulation in dogs and cats.
  • Long and thick hair coats make them more vulnerable to heat stroke.
  • The following environments increase the chance of a heat stroke:

  • Enclosed area without ventilation (Especially, being left alone in a car)
  • Backyard without a shade or water
  • Outdoor activities without enough rest (e.g. Inadequate water drinking, shade)

  • Symptoms: Early symptoms

    It is difficult to recognize symptoms at one glance. Please make sure you monitor for the following

  • Excessive panting & Drooling
  • Reddened gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Bright red tongue
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy, weakness
  • Vomiting, Diarrhea
  • ※ Cat Breeds such as Persian, Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair, Or any other cat with a flat face/short snout Flat-faced breeds are at increased risk for suffering from heat stroke.


    Prevention: Please pay more attention than usual

    You can prevent heat strokes if you take more caution than usual.

  • If you go outdoors with your pet, always be in an environment with enough shade, water, and ventilation.
  • If you go outdoors with your pet, always take a water bowl and prepare water.
  • If your pet is kept outdoors, don’t leave your pet alone for a long time and frequently check health conditions.

  • First Aid: Your goal is to lower your pet’s body temperature to 102.9°F

  • Pour cool water (not ice-cold) on your pet’s head, armpits, and feet, or place a wet towel on these areas.
  • Make sure there is ventilation.
  • Ice packs can worsen the situation.
  • The best course of action is to visit a veterinarian right away.

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    References

  • https://www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au/pet-care/health/heatstroke-hyperthermia
  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/heat-stroke-in-dogs
  • https://www.memphisveterinaryspecialists.com/site/blog-cordova/2019/11/25/dog-heat-stroke-symptoms-treatment-prevention