Animals and Pets

How to protect your animals from the heat and having a heat stroke

(WJBF) - The summer is here and it seems to be getting hotter and hotter. With heat indexes in the 100s, it is not only unsafe for humans to be outside in the heat for such long hours, but it is unsafe for your pets. 

You can blister your feet by walking without shoes on the hot cement and your animals can too. 

Don’t expect your animals to bare for themselves, help them remain cool and protected from the heat. 

After all, these little guys need protection too. 

How to protect your pet from the heat and having a heat stroke

Don’t rely on fans. Dogs sweat primarily through their feet, so fans do not cool them off as effectively. Provide your pets with ample shade. If you have a dog please note that doghouses do not provide enough relief from the heat and can make it worse.

You can cool your pet by making creative treats such as popsicles with mashed bananas. The popsicles can be made with unsweetened peanut butter or other favorite animal foods that are easy for them to chew and swallow. 

Here’s how to create a doggie popsicle

You can also protect your pet from the heat by creating a cooling body wrap, mat or vest for them to wear or to lay on. 

In order to create these items, you have to soak a mat, vest, or body wrap in cold water and have them lay on it or wear the body vest to remain cool. 

Another option would be to give your pet a bath with cool water and have them soak to relieve the stress. 

How to walk your dog in the heat

1.    Walk your dog or pet in the morning or late at night in order to prevent your dog from having heat stresses. 
2.    Have your dog or pet wear shoes, such as doggie booties to protect their feet, if you cannot walk them during the early morning hours or late at night. 
3.    Keep your dog hydrated by bringing a bottle of water with you on your walk. Have a bottle for you and your pet. 
4.    If you want to take a break while on your walk, make sure to break in an area with lots of shade or create a kiddie pool for your animal to lay in. 
5.    Watch for signs of dehydration. Dogs tend to cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively and become lethargic or have red eyes. Others signs will be pale looking eyes or skin not falling back into place after being lifted. 

How to watch for signs of heat stroke

It is often hard to be able to determine if your animal is having a heat stroke. For animals’ heat stroke often happens when a pet is very old, very young, not conditioned to long exercising, has a heart or respiratory disease or is overweight. 

According to the Humane Society, Boxers, Pugs, Shih Tzu, and other dogs and cats with short muzzle will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat, so you will want to have a closer eye on those animals. 

How to treat a pet suffering from heatstroke 

According to the Humane Society, you should move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Then apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, chest, and neck. You can also run cool (not cold) water over them if you run out of towels. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes, then take your animal directly to a veterinarian.

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