It’s Getting Hot Out There…

By Dr. Tracy Appelbaum, Managing Veterinarian

Summer is here and we’re all participating in tons of outdoor activities. If you’re like me, your pets are probably joining in the fun. As temperatures rise it’s important to remember how our animals can be affected by the heat.

Most people do not realize that pets do not sweat. Most of their ability to cool down comes from panting and release from their paw pads. Should you notice that your family friend is huffing and puffing, you must make sure to get them back inside to cooler areas. Keeping their paw pads moist can also help to keep them cooler. They must have access to plenty of water and shade at all times. Since our pets must keep their fur coat on year-round it can be very helpful to have a groomer shave down the longer haired breeds. It’s important to note that certain breeds are more sensitive to the heat because of their anatomy. Just a few examples are English bulldogs, Boston terriers, and French bulldogs to name a few. These dogs must be monitored very closely when outside in elevated temperatures.

Some modifications are also necessary to our normal daily activities during the summer months. It’s always recommended to limit your pet’s leash walks to the early morning and late evening hours when it is a lot cooler outside. Keep in mind that they are not wearing shoes and asphalt and other surfaces can get quite hot. This poses a burn risk to our animals. Swimming is another great summer activity for our dogs. Supervision is recommended and using water without chemicals is always preferred, especially if you have a pet who likes to drink the pool water. Should you bring your pet for a car ride, it’s imperative that you never leave them in the car with the windows closed. Temperatures can climb very quickly and it does not take much for a pet to develop heat stroke.

If you think your pet has spent too much time in the heat or you are concerned for any reason, it’s important that you seek medical attention right away. The sooner you get your pet to a veterinarian the more likely we are to have a positive outcome. Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital is open 24/7 and our emergency department is always here if you need us. Feel free to contact us if you feel your pet needs to be seen.

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