The hazards of heat

As we approach the warmer weeks of summer, it is essential for us to recognise the dangers of heat for our pets.

Understanding heatstroke in pets

Heatstroke happens when your pet’s body overheats and their body temperature rises, such that it can no longer regulate without intervention.

As cats, dogs and small pets cannot sweat, it is far more difficult for them to cool themselves down, which is why we should ensure we take preventive measures, at all times, to avoid heatstroke taking a hold.

Simple actions can help your pet to avoid heatstroke altogether. Here are some tips to keep your pet in good shape throughout the hot weather:

  • Pour small amounts of cool water on them (not ice-cold water as this can cause shock).
  • Provide shaded areas for them to rest.
  • Put them within a safe distance of a fan or well ventilated area.
  • Place a wet towel underneath to keep cool.
  • Always give them access to fresh cold drinking water.
  • Never leave a pet in the car, even for a short time.
  • Change the times of walks to cooler periods of the day.

Many pet stores and online suppliers have a range of products that can help when you are out and about. Cooling collars can provide a lot of comfort for dogs, for example. Staying on top of your pet care during the summer months will make for happy, healthy pets!

Know the signs

Spotting that your pet could be in distress due to heat and the early signs of heatstroke will enable you to take swift action:

  • They pant heavily.
  • They start to dribble more than usual.
  • They may foam at the mouth.
  • They are sleepier or lethargic.
  • They begin to take shorter quick breaths.

Your pet may only have one or two of these symptoms but act before they develop more complications.  Breed, age and underlying health conditions can also affect a pet’s response to heat, so for specific advice, please contact your Vet.

Painful pavements

As the air temperature rises, so does the temperature of pavements, sand, outdoor tiles and artificial lawns.  These could cause burns to your pet’s feet, so check their temperature before you let them out to play or go for a walk.

Seek advice

If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, contact The Pet Vet without delay and arrange to see one of our Vets. 

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