Care In The Dog Days Of Summer

July 21, 2011

Swimming is a great way for everyone to keep cool!

The dog days of summer are the hottest days of the year, from July through September. Now that we’re in the thick of them, it’s important to remember that our pets are suffering from the heat just as much!

Here are some important tips on caring for dogs and cats during summer heat:

  • Make sure dogs and cats have enough water, especially when left outside.
  • Keep water from going bad with a few drops of MesoSilver.
  • Don’t leave animals in the car. The inside of a car can get hot enough to kill dogs or cats, even in the shade, even with the windows cracked. Even if pets don’t die, they can suffer heat stroke.
  • When taking pets for a walk, remember they don’t have shoes, and their feet can burn! Early in the morning, after it rains, and late in the evening are safer for dogs and cats.
  • Also when out with your dog, a dog with a shorter nose or heavier coat will be more at risk for heat stroke.
  • Dogs (& cats) get sunburned too! If your dog is light colored on its nose or ears, it may need sunscreen.

Both dogs and cats sweat, but only through their foot pads-not enough to cool them down! Dogs cope by panting, and cats will lick their coats (this functions similarly to sweating). As it gets hotter, they may seek shade, cool surfaces, and lie with their stomachs up (allowing internal organs to cool). If a cat starts panting, it means it is getting too hot.

If your animal looks hot, take it indoors or to shade, make sure it has water, and consider what else you may have access to that’s cooling (many dogs love playing in the sprinklers when it’s hot!)

If your pets look like they’re suffering from heat stroke (and you’ve made sure they have water):

  • Apply cool water (as with a hose) until they cool down.
  • Apply ice packs to the head, neck, or chest.
  • Don’t hesitate to see a vet!

It’s important to act quickly when signs of heat stroke are present, or more serious problems could occur.

One last tip:

For a list of pet food recalls, you can stay updated on the FDA’s site.

How do you and your furry friends stay cool during the dog days of summer?

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