Despite the fact that most pets detest change, they have surprise capabilities when it comes to adapting to changing environments. 

Your pet’s body is highly skilled at coping with hot weather by shedding the thick undercoat, panting, and sweating through their paw pads. However, pets do reach a point where it becomes far too dangerous to withstand overexposure to the heat.

An essential component of summer pet safety is managing risk, increasing comfort, and being extra careful between the hours or 10 am and 4 pm.

It’s Elemental

Water is part of a pet’s natural defense against the heat.

How can you be sure that your pet drinks enough each day? For starters, cats should generally drink 5-10 ounces every day. Dogs need one ounce per pound of body weight daily.

Measuring out their needs at the beginning of every day and comparing it with any left over at the day’s end (accounting for some evaporation) will provide the information necessary to change their water intake. 

Your pet’s health and lifestyle will also determine how much they drink each day. Place water bowls throughout the house and backyard. 

Over Exposure

Heat exhaustion is characterized by an abnormally high internal temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke occurs when a pet reaches 106 degrees or higher. If they are otherwise healthy, it’s more than likely that they were overexposed to environmental heat. If undetected or left alone, multiple organ failure and death can occur when temperatures reach 107-109 degrees.

Coping Mechanisms

Dogs pant and sweat through their paw pads, but they cannot regulate internal body temperature as effectively as we do. As a result, their temperature can skyrocket in mere minutes if left inside a parked car. Also, if they spend too much time in the direct sun without access to shade or water, animals can quickly become dehydrated. 

In the Know

Brachycephalic, or flat-faced, breeds are not as adept at panting and can show signs of heat stroke much faster than larger nosed dogs. Further, dogs wearing muzzles and those with health problems may suffer the effects of heat stroke more quickly.

Summer Pet Safety Rules

If you know or suspect that your pet is running at high temperatures, it’s vital to move quickly in order to bring it down. Heat stroke and dehydration constitute real pet emergencies and require immediate intervention.

Soak wash cloths or towels in mildly cool water and apply to the pet’s head, chest, back, armpits, stomach and feet. It can become equally dangerous to bring down their temperature too fast, so owners should keep a close watch on the rectal thermometer and stop when it reads 103 degrees. 

Please call us for further direction, and we’ll prepare for your arrival. Intravenous fluid therapy, mild sedation and low-concentration oxygen therapy can treat heat stroke.

Your Pet’s Summer Survival Guide

Summer pet safety involves setting a routine that ensures your pet is never out in the hottest hours of the day. Limit physical exertion between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. If you’re enjoying the boat, beach or trails in the middle of the day, be sure to have on hand lots of fresh water, sunglasses, protective clothing, and access to shade and rest.

If you have additional questions about making sure this summer is filled with only happy memories, we encourage you to reach out to us. We’re always here for you with extra summer pet safety tips at Godspeed Animal Care.