Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat

Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe in the Summer Heat

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Summer Safety Checklist for Pet Owners
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Get practical tips: no ice packs, ample water, strategic cooling methods, shade, and more.
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dog
cat
general care
walking
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3 minute read
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By Team Dr.Tail
A playful puppy trotted across the hot sand
A playful puppy trotted across the hot sand
 
Sun’s out, tongue’s out!
Here are some outdoor activities as well as necessary precautions to make the most out of summer in a safe way.
 
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Paw Pad Burns

Keep in mind pets tend to be much less immune to heat compared to hoomans.
Take the following measures to make sure the temperature’s ripe to take your pup or kitty on a stroll:
  • Seven-second test (*vet-approved). Place the back of your hand on the ground for seven seconds. Can’t make it through? Then it’s most definitely way too hot for your furry friend.
  • Temperature. The pavement heats up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s 77 outside. It only takes a matter of seconds for skin problems to break out in that heat. So, what can you do? Shoot for an early morning or late-night stroll on grass tracks.
 

Recognizing and Treating Heat-Related Symptoms

Just because you take all the precautionary measures, it doesn’t mean your pet won’t suffer. Here are symptoms and treatments to further bulletproof your pet from heat.

General Symptoms

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Reddened gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Bright red tongue
  • Muscle tremors
  • Lethargy, weakness
  • Vomiting, Diarrhea

Skin-specific Symptoms

  • Reddened/Swollen pad (1st degree)
  • Visible blisters (2nd degree)
  • Charred skin (3rd degree)

Treatments

Notice any of the above? Take your pet to the vet asap and try these at-home treatments in the meantime:
  • Place the paw pad in running water (*avoid ice-cold water)
  • Put clean socks on or swathe the pads for added protection
Then again, we can’t emphasize the importance of visiting a vet in due time. Otherwise, you might see your pet end up with a heat stroke.
 

Heat Stroke

There are different reasons why pets are vulnerable to heat strokes. The list below compiles common causes.
  • Long and thick hair coats
  • Dogs and cats cannot regulate their body temperature efficiently
  • Sweat glands around their feet and nose are suboptimal for thermal regulation
Avoid the following environments to mitigate the risks:
  • Enclosed area without ventilation (e.g., being left alone in a car)
  • Backyard without a shade or water
  • Outdoor activities without enough rest (e.g., inadequate water drinking, shade, etc.)
Be aware, heat stroke strikes without warning. The chances of you missing the signs are high. (*Flat face/short snout breeds such as Persian, Himalayan, and Exotic Shorthair are at increased risk for suffering from heat stroke.)
 

Here’s what you can do

Lastly, let us wrap up with a list of best practices and tips for a safe and fun summer.
  • Avoid ice packs
  • Bring plenty of water around
  • Occasionally pour cool water (not ice-cold) on your pet’s head, armpits, and feet, or place a wet towel on these areas
  • Stay in an environment with enough shade, water, and ventilation
  • Try to keep your pet’s body temperature along the lines of 102.9 Fahrenheit
And most importantly, see a vet.