Beat the Heat with Our Summer Pet Safety Tips

Summer pet safety can help to prevent heat stroke in petsAlthough we love summer here in New Jersey, protecting ourselves from the sun and heat is a must. Whether we seek out the shade, take a dip in the pool, or enjoy a frozen treat, we know how to keep ourselves cool. But what about our pets?

Dogs and cats are at higher risk for experiencing heat-related injuries, and it’s up to us to protect them from any temperature extremes. The team at Berkeley Veterinary Center wants to make sure you know the ins and outs of summer pet safety so you and your pet can enjoy the rest of the season in good health.

Know the Signs

Not only do dogs and cats start off with higher body temperatures than humans, they’re also unable to cool themselves as efficiently. This fact, combined with their full-body fur coats, make them more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Signs that your pet may be experiencing heat-related distress include:

  • Excessive panting, drooling
  • Bright pink or pale gums
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Collapse

Time is of the Essence

Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can lead to organ failure or death if not treated immediately. If your pet is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you need to act fast.

  • Bring your pet into a shaded area or indoors with the AC or fan running.
  • Offer your pet water to drink.
  • Wet towels with cool or room temperature water (never cold water), and drape them over your pet’s belly, neck, and legs.
  • Call us for further instruction.

Summer Pet Safety

Planning and observation are the cornerstones of summer pet safety. Follow these tips to keep your pet cool when temps soar.

  • Pets should never be left unattended in hot weather, so indoors where it’s cool is the best place for them to be.
  • While outdoors, make sure your pet has access to shade and fresh, cool water at all times (a few ice cubes in their water bowl is a good idea).
  • Water-filled kiddie pools or sprinklers are fun, safe ways for pets and kids to stay cool (supervised, of course).
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a frozen pet treat! Frozen treats are easy to make, taste great, add nutrients to your pet’s diet, and help keep them cool, all at the same time.
  • Last but not least, never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. Even when parked in the shade with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a parked car can climb high enough to kill a pet within a few minutes. If you aren’t able to keep your pet with you at all times, it’s best to simply leave them at home.

Paw Care

Because your pet’s paw pads are much more delicate than they look, it’s important to focus on paw protection during the summer. In direct sun, pavement, concrete, sand, and even dirt can become scalding, creating a serious risk for your pet’s paws. Stick with early morning and evening walks, and walk your pet in the shade or in the grass whenever possible to avoid injury.

Your friends at Berkeley Veterinary Center hope you and your pet enjoy the rest of summer! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about summer pet safety.

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