Exercising Caution Outdoors with Your Pet This Summer

As the temperature heats up in most parts of the country, unique dangers to your pet present themselves. Hopefully you already know about summer safety basics, such as not overexerting your pet, providing plenty of water and not leaving your pet in your car. What you might not be aware of is what to do if your pet suffers from a common heat-induced condition called heatstroke.

According to our veterinarians, heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. If your pet exhibits symptoms of heatstroke, such as excessive panting, lethargy, weakness, drooling and dark red gums, quick action is crucial. Take your pet to your nearest Banfield veterinarian or emergency hospital immediately. In the meantime, apply towels soaked in cool water to the hairless parts of your pet’s body (such as the belly and paws). Do not use ice water, as this can cool your pet’s body too quickly and cause further complications. Place your pet near a fan or air conditioner, if possible.

If you take your pet outside for exercise, play or a walk make sure it has plenty of access to cool water, shaded areas and rest. It is never recommended to leave your pet outside on hot days. Even if your pet has access to shaded areas, it can easily become overheated. During hot weather, it is especially important to be cautious with brachycephalic breeds, such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Bulldogs and Boxers, which have shorter faces or noses. These breeds are especially prone to suffering from heatstroke, as they aren’t able to pant as efficiently as dogs with longer faces. Enjoy the summer months and make sure you contact your Banfield veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your pet.