As the summer months continue to bring a heat wave to much of the United States and other countries, many people are becoming concerned with the health of their pets. Although the summer is known as a fun time to be outside for both pets and people alike, it is important to know how to keep your pets cool and when to bring them inside.
For homes that do not have air conditioning, or pets who do not wish to be inside, doing both can seem impossible. Here are a few tips for keeping your pets cool. It is important to note that those living in areas where temperatures can soar to unsafe levels, air conditioning can become a necessity for some pets.
Dogs Cannot Sweat to Lower Their Temperatures
Although canines can sweat a small amount through their pads on their paws, they cannot perspire enough to cool themselves down. This is the reason why dogs can be seen panting a great deal when temperatures rise. They will need a constant supply of fresh, cool water. For outside dogs, you will need to provide shelter from the sun that is big and well ventilated.
A small kiddie pool for your dogs to play in is also a good idea. If the temperatures reach the upper 90s and lower 100s with high humidity, it is necessary to bring dogs inside during the hottest part of the day. This is especially true of bulldog breeds and smaller dogs such as pugs, shih tzus and Boston terriers.
It is important to note that dogs should never be left in a car where spikes in the temperature can be deadly. If your dog shows any signs of a heat stroke such as lethargy or shallow breathing, call a vet immediately.
Making Sure Your Pet is a “Cool Cat”
Much like dogs, when cats become overheated they can suffer from such issues as dehydration, lethargy, shallow breathing and eventually heatstroke. It is vital that you keep your cat calm and cool during the hottest days of the summer.
Cats are very active and can sometimes become exhausted very quickly in the heat. Keeping them inside an air conditioned home is vital during the hottest part of the day for those who live in extremely hot and humid areas. For those cats that do go outside, fresh cool water is absolutely necessary. But make sure they can get back inside quickly. If your cat does overheat, you can cool them off with damp towels.
Better Safe Than Sorry
In any type of heat wave, it is best to keep pets indoors. This is especially true between 10 am and 4 pm, the hottest part of the day.
If you have a pet door, most pets will come in as they need to cool off. But keep a watch to ensure they do. Ice cubes can be put into dog water bowls and placed on the floor for cats to play with. This should be done in a cool environment inside the home so that the temperature change is not a shock.
Remember that unlike humans, pets cannot sweat or inform us when they are too hot. We have to look for signs. During times where the sun is most potent and temperatures rise the highest, keeping them inside in the air conditioning is the best preventative measure. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care.
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Temperature Talk is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling
(Photo via Flickr)