Pets feel the heat just as much as humans do and they can also suffer from heat-related illnesses. Follow these guidelines to protect your pet when it's hot:
- Never leave your pet in a parked car. Even cracked windows won't protect your pet from suffering from heat stroke, or worse, during hot summer days.
- Provide your pet with fresh, cool water every day in a tip-proof bowl.
- Exercise dogs in the early morning or evening hours, instead of during the middle of the day when it's the hottest.
- Asphalt and concrete can get very hot and cause severe burns on the pads of your pet's feet. Always provide your pet with shade and shelter to protect it from extreme temperatures.
- Older and overweight pets are more likely to overheat during hot weather.
- Know the symptoms of overheating including excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
- Animals with flat faces are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with older and overweight pets, should be kept in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible.
- Keep your pet well-groomed, but resist the temptation to shave off all of their hair to keep them cool. A pet's coat will protect it from getting sunburned and acts as a cooling insulation for most animals.