Hot weather can be dangerous for animals if appropriate precautions are not taken. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from dehydration, heatstroke or sunburn, seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately. The following tips will help keep your pets safe in hot weather conditions:
Symptoms of overheating in pets may include:
- excessive panting
- difficulty breathing
- increased heart rate
In extreme cases they can have seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and a body temperature in excess of 104 °F.
Since animals have a limited ability to sweat, even a short time in a hot environment can be life threatening. Animals with flat faces, such as pugs, bulldogs and Persian cats are most susceptible to heatstroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with those that are elderly, overweight or suffering from chronic disease, should be kept in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
Ensure pets have access to shaded areas and fresh water in hot weather conditions as they can dehydrate quickly. Pets should be kept indoors and walks should be kept to a minimum distance when it is extremely hot as cement and asphalt can cause their bodies to heat up quickly.
NEVER leave pets alone in a parked vehicle during hot weather, as temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly reach dangerous levels, even with the windows down. Before heading out in a vehicle, leave pets at home if you plan on making stops along the way.