Every summer, we talk about pets and how to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion; after all, they are wearing fur coats! Heat exhaustion is what happens before heatstroke, and it’s best to learn to recognize it before it advances further, because heat stroke is deadly.
Pets can’t sweat out excess heat as we can, all they can do is pant so they overheat easily (they have a few sweat glands in their feet). Fortunately, it’s not difficult to spot an impending overheating problem.
Look for these signs, and if you see them, immediately help your pet: heavy panting, pale or red gums, drooling, dizziness, lethargy, red tongue, confusion, excessive thirst, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, or seizures.
What do you do if you notice heat exhaustion signs? Most important is to keep a close eye on your buddy in hot weather and don’t let it progress to heat exhaustion. Take your pet inside to an air-conditioned area. Lower his body temperature by wetting him with lukewarm water (don’t use cold water) and be sure to get his eye area and paws wet. Wiping their paws with alcohol will also aide in cooling them quickly. Heat exhaustion is an emergency, so get your pet to the vet immediately.
While all pets are at risk, certain breeds and older or very young pets are far more susceptible. Pets with short noses and flat faces are more prone to heat exhaustion.
When your pet is out in the heat, be sure there is a shady area, plenty of water, and limit exercise and outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day. Be sure he frequently comes inside to A/C or in front of a fan. Great summer activities are swimming, running through the sprinkler, or walks very early or late in the day. Never leave your pet in a parked car, not even for a few minutes.
Know that we keep an eye out for all these signs and reserve the right to curtail your walks and utilize indoor time should your pet exhibit such signs.