For pets that are sensitive to heat, the steamy summer months are not only uncomfortable, they are also the time when the risk of fatal heatstroke is highest. Thousands of pets die needlessly every summer from over-exposure to heat.
To help protect your pets from harm, here are some tried and true techniques:
- First, make sure they have plenty of shade all day long. Just because they’re in a shady spot in the morning doesn’t mean the same spot will be shady at three o’clock in the afternoon. And make sure the surface they’re standing on is cool. Asphalt can quickly burn the pads of their feet.
- Next, provide plenty of cool, fresh water several times a day every day. It would be great if you can devise a way for them to have access to constantly running cool water. Make sure they can reach the water, and secure the water bowl so it can’t be overturned. Avoid ice water, though, as it could cause a problem for some pets.
- NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. The temperature on dark, leather seats exposed to the sun can reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit and hotter.
Still, how would you know if heatstroke is coming on? In the early stages you’ll notice heavy panting, rapid breathing and bright red gums and tongue. Once your dog begins showing signs of heat stroke, you should try to cool it down immediately to prevent it from getting worse.
The more advanced and dangerous levels of heatstroke include unwillingness to move, noisy breathing, and uncontrollable body functions states.
To help your pet recover, the AKC to apply ice packs to the groin area, douse the dog with water and allow it to lick ice cubes. If the dog cannot be cooled down and begins to show signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.
For cooler and more comfortable temperatures indoors, contact Conway Services for a wide range of air conditioning solutions for your family – and pets! – in the Greater Memphis area.
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