April 11th is National Pet Day! With spring in full force, temperatures across the nation are starting to rise and heatstroke should be a concern for pet parents everywhere. Keep them safe with these warm weather safety tips!
Heatstroke is a life-threatening, medical emergency marked by an inability to cool down the body’s temperature. Dogs for example don’t have sweat glands dispersed throughout their body like humans, so they regulate their temperature by panting.
Cats on the other hand keep cool by using their own saliva and licking their body.
Both dogs and cats, along with rabbits, guinea pigs, and other rodents, are susceptible to developing heatstroke. If left untreated, this condition can cause severe, potentially irreversible damage to your pet’s organs.
We’ve compiled of list of helpful reminders to make sure your pets are well taken care of even in warm weather.
Hot Weather Tips for Pets
- Make sure they always have access to fresh clean water
- Ensure there is a shaded space for them to lay around outside
- Take them to the vet for a check-up – ensure they are healthy and checked for heartworm, etc
- Animals with flatter faces who may have a hard time breathing (pugs, french bulldogs, Persian cats, etc) should always be kept out of the heat in order to ensure they can pant/breathe properly and cool down
- Do not leave animals in a parked vehicle outside during high temperatures
- Brush and pet your cats regularly or even trim longer coats, shaving them completely reduces their ability to cool down and prevent sunburn
- Do not walk outside unless you have protective footwear for your pet
- Be mindful of outdoor gatherings, human food can be dangerous for pets and lead to medical problems. Be especially careful to avoid giving your pets raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate, and products with the sweetener xylitol (this includes some brands of peanut butter!).
Heat has a different effect on different kinds of animals so be sure to speak with your vet to learn how to best protect your furry, feathery, scaley, or slithery best friend. See our full pet safety checklist to see other ways we should be protecting our pets.
Follow these tips to protect your pet. They are sure to pay you back with lots of love!