Summer generally means fun in the sun, though recent circumstances have kept most of us indoors. Plus, overwhelming heat keeps many of us in air conditioning. If you do go outside with your pet, heat exhaustion is a real concern. Even if you try to avoid it, you could still end up with a pet with heat exhaustion. So, what should you do?
What Is Heat Exhaustion?
Hyperthermia, happens when your dog or cat’s goes over the normal, healthy range and they cannot regulate it. It can be mild or severe, and can often be treated at home. Of course, there is also severe heatstroke, which needs a vet’s help.
When it comes to prevention, avoiding high heat is the best option. Next it limiting exposure to the temperatures. Make sure you have plenty of water with you, and cold is best. Stay near a source of air conditioning. If you leave your pet at home alone, keep the air conditioning on; open windows are not enough. Of course, never, ever leave your pet in a car in heat, even with the windows down. That heat rises much faster than you may realize, and your pet is more sensitive to that than you.
Know the Symptoms
Before you can treat heat exhaustion in your pet, you need to know the signs. Watch for panting and breathing struggles. Your dog, for example, will pant excessively without stopping. Dehydration is a sign; watch for dry nose, panting, lethargy and excessive drooling. There are many more possible signs; if you’re pet is acting strangely and it’s hot, take action.
Treating Heat Exhaustion in Your Pet
You can save yourself a trip to the vet if you act quickly before symptoms become severe. Start by taking your pet to a cooler place immediately. To lower their body temperature, you can place them in cool water, but don’t shock their system with water that’s too cold. Your pet’s ears and paws are important places that help them stay cool, so make sure to wet those.
Then, take them to dry off in front of a fan; the mixture of water and air will help them feel much cooler. If you have a thermometer, check their temperature every few minute. If you don’t have one now, go purchase one so it’s handy, just in case.
From there, give them plenty of water to drink and keep them in a nice, cool area for at least 24 hours, like your air-conditioned home. Then, take stock of your day so that you can decide what to change for future and prevent more problems.
Have fun this summer, not panic over your pet’s health. Keep your pet’s cool, know the symptoms of heat exhaustion in your pet, and bring your pet to the vet for a checkup. We’re here for you at Pet Vet Hospitals.