The weather is warming up and the days are sunny and beautiful. It’s the perfect time to get outside for picnics and events with family and friends outdoors. Like most pet owners, your pets are sure to be included in the fun festivities. Your pets love time and attention with family and being outdoors is an added bonus. However, it’s important to remember that pets don’t handle heat well and heat stroke is a life threatening condition that easily sneaks up quickly.
We want you to enjoy the warmer weather with your pets outdoors in a safe manner. Before you head out the door, consider these tips to have a safe outing:
Water- Water, water, water! This cannot be stressed enough. Always bring enough water for you and your pets. Don’t forget a bowl for your pet to drink out of and offer water breaks multiple times throughout your outing.
Consider keeping a small kiddie pool filled with water for your pet to cool off in. If your pet doesn’t know how to swim, make sure you supervise them.
Exercise when it’s coolest- If you take your dog on daily walks it’s best to plan these walks at the time of day when it’s coolest. This may mean getting up earlier than usual but it’s worth it to ensure your dog’s safety.
Protection from the sun- Trees and patios offer great shade and it’s important to make sure your pet takes a break in this shade often. If you’re attending an event and you’re not certain if shade is provided, consider bringing your own umbrella to give your pet breaks in the shade.
Pets can become overheated and some dog breeds easily overheat. Hot weather makes overheating possible very quickly. Never leave your pet outside unattended without shade and don’t leave your pet outside for long periods of time even if there is shade. It’s best to bring your pets inside where it’s cool and safe for them.
Know the signs of heatstroke– Disorientation, excessive water consumption, and heavy panting are signs of heatstroke. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from heatstroke act quickly and don’t hesitate. Move your pet to a cool air conditioned place immediately. Apply cool towels to their chest, neck, or head. As the towels become warm, replace them with cool towels. Do not immerse your pet in an ice cold water bath as this causes your pet’s blood vessels in the skin to constrict making it difficult for the body to dissipate the heat.