We all know that summer heat can be as hard on our pets as it is on us. But did you know that it can be extra stressful for elderly pets, and those with certain conditions, such as heartworms, congestive heart failure, or anemia? Since dogs cool off by panting, it’s harder for certain breeds, especially those with super-short muzzles, like Pugs and English Bulldogs, to keep a normal body temperature. Heavy-coated animals will get overheated quicker than short coated breeds. It’s like they’re wearing a thick sweater, and can’t take it off! Persian cats have the double-whammy, with their short noses and long coat.
Horses, for the most part, adapt to our Southern heat, as long as they have access to shade, fresh water, and a salt block. Fans and water misters can help keep them cool. Hose them down and use a sweat scraper to remove extra water after exercise, or any time they appear heat stressed. Avoid riding during the hottest part of the day.
Take sensible precautions for your pets, especially those with special conditions. Shade and fresh water are essential for outdoor pets. Fans and kiddie pools can help keep them from overheating, but they may need more than that when temperatures become extreme (you may need to bring them indoors). Never, ever leave pets in a car when it’s warm outside, even with the windows down. Get summer clips for heavy coated dogs, and even cats if they go outdoors much. Walk your dog in the morning, before temperatures soar upward.
2 thoughts on “”
What do I do if I think my pet is having a heat stroke?
Cool him off as quickly as possible. Offer cool water to drink, but don’t force the issue if he is too stressed to drink on his own. Hose him down, or put him in a tub of cool (not cold) water for a few moments, then wrap him in cool, wet towels and transport him to the nearest veterinary hospital right away.
If his body temperature is over 106 degrees, there could be brain damage. IV fluids and treatment for shock can reduce the risk of permanent damage, but timing is very important.
Hope this helps! It is HOT out there, and we have at least another month to go.