Pets and parents alike look forward to spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger, warn ASPCA experts.
“Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat,” says Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA Vice President of Veterinary Outreach, “and heat stroke can be fatal if not treated promptly.”
Watch out for the following symptoms of overheating in pets: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, drooling, mild weakness, stupor and even collapse. Pets can also suffer from seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
Take these simple precautions, provided by ASPCA experts, to help prevent your pet from overheating. And if you suspect your pet is suffering from heat stroke, get help from your veterinarian immediately.
- Avoid dehydration by always having fresh, clean water available and lots of shady places where pets can cool off. When the weather’s extremely hot, keep your pets indoors.
- Give your dog a light summer haircut to help prevent overheating. Shave the hair to a one-inch length, but never down to the skin, as fur offers protection from the sun. Brushing your cat more often than usual can also help prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
- When using sunscreen or insect repellent, be sure the product is labeled specifically for use on animals.
- Never leave an animal alone in a parked vehicle. “On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time—even with the windows open—which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.
Originally published by the ASPCA.