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  • Marcy Santos

Beat the Summer Heat

Summer is in full swing. Temperatures are rising and the sun beating down on us. It’s hot enough for us humans, but for furry pets the weather can be downright dangerous. Heat stroke is a serious threat for animals.

Heat stroke is when an animal experiences an increase in internal temperature past what their bodies can handle. For dogs, an increase of only 3.5 degrees could send them into danger. It can take up to 60 days for a dog to acclimate to a change in temperature, but heat stroke can set in less than 15 minutes… and can be fatal. Even if heat stroke is reversed, there can be permanent damage to the kidneys. Flat-faced breeds are predisposed to heat stroke. As their care-takers, it is our responsibility to know the facts as well as look for warning signs of heat stroke.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Excessive panting

  • Excessive drooling

  • Agitation

  • Staggering

  • Low urine output

  • Pacing in cats

Tips for Avoiding Heat Stroke

1. Never leave your pet in the car alone. We understand wanting to always have your furry friend with you. The risk to their health, however, just isn’t worth it. When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172. It is better to leave your pet at home and schedule us to check in on them.

2. It is also important to be mindful of how your dog’s exercise. Consider restricting the amount of outdoor exercise they get. Walking in the mornings and evenings is best, when temperatures are at the lowest. When walking your dog, it is helpful to bring bottles of water and a small cup with you, or invest in a dog water bottle.

3. Water helps all animals regulate body temperature. Make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day to get your pet to drink. Travel dishes are a helpful accessory for an active family.

4. Shade is important throughout the day. Event sitting outside watching a sporting event can quickly become an emergency. Always look for a shaded area to get your pet comfortable.

If you are concerned about your pet having heat stroke, there are some immediate steps you must take. Bring them into a cool area or find a tree with good shade. Offer them small amounts of tepid water. Douse them with cool, but never cold, water. Sitting them in front of a fan can also help to reduce body temperature. Even if they appear to be recovering, bring them to the veterinarian or after hours to the emergency pet clinic to make sure there is no internal damage.

And finally, be sure to work with pet care professionals who understand the signs of heat stroke. Here at The Right Fluff Pet Sitting, our walkers are trained and certified in pet first aid and CPR. Your pet’s safety is our number one priority!

Golden retriever playing outside

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