We hope you and your pets are staying indoors and cool during this hot week! To help beat the heat, here are some tips from Dr. Callie Meeder:
- Be mindful of hot asphalt or concrete on paws.
- Walk dogs during the cooler parts of the day.
- Make sure outdoor pets have access to fresh water and shade.
- Do not leave pets in hot cars.
- Take extra care to ensure barn cats don’t get trapped in hot tack rooms, feed rooms, or horse trailers.
- Provide your dogs with a “kiddie” pool to play in outdoors if they like water.
During these long, hot days, knowing the signs of heat stress in your pets is also important. If you notice any of the following clinical signs in your pets, get them to your veterinarian ASAP:
- Excessive panting, difficulty breathing.
- Change in gum color to bright red or extremely pale
- Increased heart rate and respiratory rates.
- Drooling, weakness, stupor, ataxia (incoordination), or even collapse.
- Seizures, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.
Also, certain dog and cat breeds prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS, or breathing issues related to a shortened muzzle) are more sensitive to heat because they have narrow nasal openings and long soft palates that limit airflow. Those dog breeds include French and English Bulldogs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Pekingese, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, and Bull Mastiffs. Cat breeds at risk include Persians, Himalayans, and Burmese.