Pet Heat Safety in Charleston
Heat is a serious concern for our furry friends. Since they cannot sweat like we do (they only sweat a little from their paws), they pant to release heat, which is not always enough. Humid days are especially difficult because all the moisture in the air makes panting ineffective. Due to the difficulties our pets can face during the summer, it’s up to us to help them beat the heat. Read the pet heat safety tips below provided by our veterinarians.
Heat Safety Tips for Pet Parents
- During the summer, watch out for hot pavement when out for your dog’s (or adventurous cat’s) daily walks. The asphalt can burn their paws and cause their body temperature to rise to dangerous levels. You can test this by putting your hand on the pavement. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.
- Take your daily walks with your pet earlier in the day or later in the evening to avoid the hottest period of the day (about 10 am-5 pm).
- When your pet is outdoors, make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink as well as a shady place to lie down to rest.
- If leaving your pet at home while you’re out for the day, set the air conditioning to no higher than about 80 degrees.
- NEVER leave your pet alone in a car. Even on a mild day, the heat in the car can reach dangerous levels in mere minutes. It’s not worth the risk. Take your pet out with you, or leave them at home.
- Despite their furry coats, pets can get sunburned, too. White, short-coated pets are at the greatest risk. Apply pet-safe sunscreen when you’ll be outdoors for longer than an hour.
Recognizing the Signs of Heatstroke
Despite the best efforts for prevention, heatstroke can still happen. Recognizing the signs is the best way to get your pet the care they need when they need it. Watch out for the following symptoms and bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible:
- General stupor
- Heaving or excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
If you are ever unsure about your pet’s health, please call our Charleston animal hospital at (843) 571-7095 and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer your questions.