Keep Your Pet Cool – Summer Safety Tips

DSCN1875The weather here today is a rainy, cool 64*F.  Quite a difference from the the sunny, hot 90* weather we suffered through last week (can you tell I'm not a big fan of the heat?).  We ran the air conditioner for the first time this year, and Kitsune spent a majority of his time camped out in front of it (see the video below!).

Kitsune seems to dislike the heat almost as much as I do!  It's important to remember that the hot temperatures can affect our pets just as much, if not more, as it does us.  But how hot is too hot?  The answer, of course, depends on what type of pet is in question, as well as your individual pet's heat tolerance.  The first day of summer is in 2 weeks.  Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you are going to keep your pet(s) comfortable and cool this summer, as well as to learn the warning signs of common heat induced illnesses.

It's important to learn what temperature range is optimal for each of your pets.  Research temperature ideals for your type of pet (it would take forever to list them all here!), but also pay attention to your pet's individual needs.  Learn to recognize signs of discomfort due to increased body temperature, such as excessive panting and drooling in dogs.  Make sure your pets have access to cool, shady areas and fresh water at all times.

Some heat related issues in pets include sunburn (yes, animals can get sunburns!), hyperthermia, dehydration, and heat stroke.  The symptoms of heat related illness will vary depending on what species your pet is.  Prevention is always the best option when it comes to heat related illnesses.  The following tips will help you to keep your furry friends more comfortable this summer...

  1. If your pet requires or enjoys exercise, try to limit excessive activity to the cooler times of the day - usually early in the morning and later in the evening.
  2. Limit sun exposure, especially for pets with little or no fur to protect them from the rays.
  3. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, cool water.
  4. Never leave your pet in a car, or other wise confined to small areas, where they can quickly overheat.
  5. Be mindful of your pets' paws in the hot weather.  Pavement can get very hot in the summer sun, putting sensitive paws at risk of being burned.
  6. Know your pets' limitations.  Certain breeds/species come with more summer time risks than others.  Hairless breeds are much more susceptible to sunburn, while cat and dog breeds with flat faces are more prone to suffering from heat related illnesses.

Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy more cooler weather before things really heat up this summer, but it's never too early to learn how to keep our pets safe in the increasing temperatures.