With blue skies for miles and temperatures perfect for outdoor fun, it makes sense that we want to spend as much time outdoors with our pets as possible. After months of gray and cold, the urge to grab a Frisbee or hit the open road for an epic road trip is compelling.
It’s also true that, with the arrival of spring, many pet owners let their pets outdoors, whether to hang out in the backyard or roam the neighborhood (as our feline friends are so inclined to do). Unfortunately, pet owners make the mistake of thinking their pets are more prepared for hot weather than they actually are.
Because our cats and dogs cannot cool off as efficiently as we can, they are prone to dehydration and heat stroke. Ultimately, they suffer when left outdoors during high temperatures or for lengthy periods of time, which can lead to a health emergency. This seems obvious but The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital treat plenty of heat-related cases each summer.
Summer Safety Tips
While it’s certainly tempting to spend the days frolicking outdoors, be aware of the hidden dangers of heat and a high UV index to your pet. To keep your fur friend protected from the harsh urban summer, practice these simple safety tips.
Along with these cooling tips for hot summer days, it is important to know the signs of dehydration. If dehydration is left unnoticed, your pet can quickly move into heat stroke, so be aware of the following signs:
If you notice dehydration in your pet, get him to a cool, shaded or indoor area right away and offer cool water and perhaps a cool bath or shower. If panting increases and your pet will not drink and/or acts listless or disoriented, he or she may be experiencing heat stroke. Consider this an emergency situation and seek veterinary care immediately.
Although these situations may seem scary, if you keep your pet hydrated and make wise choices about when to play outdoors, these perils can be avoided. With a bit of sun savvy, you and your pet can enjoy the summertime festivities while avoiding the urban sizzle.