As extreme heat blankets much of the U.S, it’s crucial to protect pets from the increased temperatures.
The risks: Heat poses similar risks for pets as it does for humans, especially for pets with longer or darker fur, flat faces, older pets, obese pets, and pets with medical conditions.
* Hot pavements can lead to burned paw pads for dogs; experts recommend walks during the cooler hours, feeling the pavement before walk, and using dog booties.
Protection measures: Pet owners need to ensure their pets are safeguarded against heat-related risks.
* Pets can get sunburns too; protective measures such as pet-specific sunscreens are available. Shaving breeds with a “double coat” is not recommended as their coats provide protection against heat.
Indoor care: Making indoor spaces comfortable is important for pets as well.
* Unscreened doors and windows should be closed, different temperature zones should be provided for a pet’s comfort, fans don’t help pets the same way as humans.
* Pets should never be left in parked cars as temperatures rise rapidly and can turn fatal.
Keeping pets occupied: It’s crucial for pets to have mental and physical stimulation even when it’s too hot for regular outdoor activities.
* Indoor exercise and enrichment activities can be tried like setting up kiddie pools, brushing up or teaching new tricks, food puzzles, use of doggy day-care etc.
Heat stroke awareness: Recognizing signs of heat stress or heat stroke is important for immediate attention and treatment.
* Symptoms like excessive drooling and panting, unsteadiness, abnormal gum and tongue color, vomiting or diarrhea indicate a pet might be suffering a heat stroke. Getting a pet to a cool, shady area with access to water and vet visit are recommended in case these symptoms appear.
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