Your pet’s heat tolerance is likely much lower than your own. Dogs and cats, with their thick fur and inability to sweat, do not tolerate higher temperatures as well as you do. Additionally, exotic pets like small mammals, birds, and even reptiles all require some special care in the summer heat. Take these summer pet safety tips from our animal hospital team to help your pet beat the heat.
Tips for Staying Cool
No matter the type of pet you have, excessive temperatures can be dangerous. It’s important to understand the level of your individual pet’s tolerance so you can appropriately care for them when the weather heats up in Zion.
- During particularly hot days, limit your pet’s exercise, but still, try to make some time for exercise if you can. Take walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the heat, and be sure to stay off hot pavement which can burn their paws.
- When leaving your pet home alone during a hot day, make sure the air conditioning is at an appropriate temperature. 80 degrees is a good number to keep it at while you’re away and make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink, too.
- NEVER leave any pet in a parked car for any length of time. The temperature inside can rise rapidly (about 20 degrees in 10 minutes on even mild days) and reach dangerous levels in no time. Don’t risk it. Take them out with you or leave them at home.
- Make sure caged pets such as birds, small rodents, and reptiles are in an area of the house with good ventilation and out of direct sunlight.
- If you keep animals enclosed outdoors, leave them under ample shade and with plenty of fresh cool water. If the temperature reaches above 85 degrees, consider bringing them indoors.
- Keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke. The symptoms vary among species, but typically listlessness, heavy panting, weakness, and changes in behavior and mobility are telling signs. Cats and dogs may also vomit and have bright red or pale gums, while small mammals’ feet will be hot to the touch. Bring them straight to your veterinarian if you notice these signs.
Safety Around the Lake
Heat is not the only thing to worry about during the summer. When you take your pet to enjoy some time at the lake, be aware of their swimming abilities! Not all dogs are great at swimming, and barrel-chested breeds such as Bulldogs are simply not built for it. Additionally, your pet can become fatigued easily, so keep them close to you and supervise them. You can always get them a life jacket or vest for added safety, too.
Severe Weather Safety
Well before any heavy storm hits, make sure you bring in any pets you have outdoors. Heavy rains and winds from thunderstorms and even tornadoes can damage any enclosures outside, creating openings for your pet to escape or possibly hurt them, so make sure they are in a safe location. Furthermore, dogs may bolt if frightened, so having proper identification on them can help return them to you after the storm. When your pets are brought inside, many may still suffer from anxiety and noise aversion, so consider giving them prescribed anxiety medication if they need it. Ask your veterinarian about your pet’s options.
For more information on keeping your pet safe this summer, please contact our animal hospital today or ask at your next visit. We look forward to helping you and your pet in any way we can.