August is one of the hottest months of the year. Regardless of the exact time of year it is or how healthy your pet is, if it is summertime, it is imperative that you take care of your pet when out in the heat. When animals are exposed to excessively high temperatures, they may experience heatstroke, which can be a fatal condition where they are unable to moderate their body temperatures. To ensure your four-legged furry friends don't experience this condition, here are some tips that will reduce their risk of heatstroke.
Keep Your Pet Out of the Car
The internal temperature of a vehicle can quickly rise to very dangerous levels. Within just minutes, these temperatures can fatally injure your pet. For that reason, it is crucial that you never leave your animal in a vehicle, even if it is just for a coupe of minutes or if the windows are left slightly cracked.
Provide Adequate Shelter from the Sun
As a general rule, animals should be kept inside during the day in an air-conditioned environment. If your cat or dog must go outdoors, ensure they have an area that is shaded so they can cool off. In addition, it is best if they are only outside for short periods of time so they don't get overheated.
Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
Dogs and cats have different ways of bringing down their internal body temperatures. For example, dogs tend to pant, which releases moisture from their lungs, cooling off their bodies from the inside out. On the other hand, cats will lick their fur, coating the outside of their bodies with a layer of cool moisture. In either instance, dogs and cats lose a certain amount of moisture in order to remain comfortable in extreme heat, which increases their overall risk of becoming dehydrated and experiencing heatstroke. As a result, it is imperative that you ensure your pet has access to a fresh supply of cool water at all times.
Know How to Respond to Symptoms of Heatstroke
In the event that your pet experiences heatstroke, you need to be familiar with the symptoms so that you can recognize them and respond quickly. Some symptoms of heatstroke include rapid panting, fever, high heart rate, fatigue, and respiratory issues. If the symptoms appear minor, it may be possible to cool your dog or cat off with a bath or a cold pack. However, if the symptoms are severe (think vomiting or seizures) or your pet is unresponsive, you should get to an animal hospital as soon as possible for emergency care.