With a Special Focus on Summer Heat Safety for Animals Are Brachycephalic Pets
During the summer there are many preventative measures you can take to ensure your pet is safe. Summer heat safety for animals is an important thing to consider if you’re going to be taking your pet outside this summer. If you have a brachycephalic pet like a Persiancat, Exotic Shorthairs, Bull Terriers, Brussels’ Griffons, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers and many others – you have to be particularly careful they do not overheat in the warm summer months. At even more risk are obese pets with flat faces!
Dogs and cats cannot release heat the way we do by sweating. During very warm days you must provide them with plenty of cold water and cool shaded areas for them outside. Exercise should happen at the coolest points of the day, first thing in the morning or in the evening, and if doggy walks or playtime can be done near a lake, pond or pool, better yet, these areas tend to be cooler and can also be used to cool your pet down should they become overheated.
Symptoms of heat stress in dogs include profuse panting and salivation, anxiety, staring off at nothing, failing to heed to commands, fever (you will need to use a rectal thermometer for this one) – normal dog temperatures fall between 100 degrees F and 102.5 degrees F, rapid pulse, fatigue, skin that is warm and dry, muscle weakness and worst of all physical collapse.
Heat Stroke is even more dangerous to your pets. Symptoms of this can induce a dark red tongue, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, fever, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhoea, immobility and unconsciousness. Brain damage can happen if the dogs body temperature reaches between 106 and 107 degrees F.
If your dog is showing any of these signs it is important to get their body temperature down. First aid could save your pet’s life. Reduce the animal’s body temperature by moving them into the shade or gradually immersing them into cool water. You can use a small pool, tub, fountain, lake, or stream. Whatever might be available! You can also pour cold water over the pet’s body beginning with the heat and extremities. You can use ice packs to the head and neck to cool your pet as well. Then use wet cool towels on the pet’s body. If your pet is still straining after the cool down an emergency trip to the vet will be required.
The best way to avoid these problems is to keep your pet cool and well hydrated during the summer months!