Every summer veterinary clinics and animal hospitals experience a surge of patients suffering from heatstroke and other heat-related emergencies. Many pets die or experience severe and lasting consequences as a result of overheating. Although it sounds scary, a little planning and preparation are all it takes to prevent heatstroke in pets.
Heatstroke in Pets
Not only do dogs and cats start out at a higher body temperature than humans, they aren’t able to cool themselves as efficiently. Their primary sources of heat release, panting and sweat glands in the paws, are not terribly effective, and in a short time a pet’s internal temperature can rise enough to cause permanent damage to the brain, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system.
For many pet owners, summer means spending time outdoors with our four-legged friends. Summer also means warmer weather and exposure to a variety of risks, which can take their toll on our pets if we aren’t careful to pay attention to summer pet safety.
Dehydration & Heat Stroke
Because our pets’ bodies aren’t as good at temperature regulation as ours, it’s important that we protect them from heat-related emergencies during the warmer months. Controlling their exposure to the heat and sun, and preventing dehydration, are the key elements of summer pet safety.