America’s love affair with its pets knows no bounds. We are prepared to do anything to keep our pets happy. With summer around the corner, pet owners are eager to keep their pets happy. Here’s how.
What Kinds of Pets Are at Risk of Overheating?
Just like humans, pets are sensitive to the heat and can suffer from dehydration, heatstroke and sunburn. Pets can become overheated very quickly. Heat sensitive pets can be classified into the following:
- Brachycephalic breeds: these are pets with flat faces, such as Boston terriers, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Persians, Pugs and shih tzus. They have trouble breathing in enough to to remain cool, especially during heat waves.
- Heavy coated pets: coats are useful for regulating a pet’s temperature, but in periods of high temperature, their coats make it hard for them to keep cool. You need to brush these pets often, and groom them freuently.
- Overweight pets: fat cells provide more insulation, and when such pets engage in just moderate exercise, they can quickly become overheated.
- Puppies and kittens: very young pets have not developed the ability to regulate their temperatures well and so, they tend to be hotter than older pets because they have more energy.
- Older pets: older pets are less mobile than younger ones, so they are not likely to overwork themselves but they are likely to have some underlying condition like a lung or heart disease.
What Should You Do To Protect Them?
- Reduce the amount of exercise they do: although it’s important for your pet to get exercise, in the summer, they should not over do it. So if you normally go out for exercise with your pets, you need to cut dopwn on that. If you have a big yard, your pet will naturally regulate its exercise levels so you don’t have to worry.
- Keep humidity low: your pet’s humidity is another area you should look out for. Dogs regulate their temperature by panting so that moisture is evaporated, but during peak summer, this isn’t enough.
- Go for check-ups: you should pay regular visits to an animal clinic so that a vet can check your pet’s vitals and make sure that it is in good health. A vet will be able to advise you about anything you have to do to keep your pet cool during the summer.
- Give your pet lots of cold water: your pets need to have access to lots of water. They can regulate their own drinking habits, but they need to have water at hand so that when they feel thirsty, they can have as much cold water as they want. If it’s very hot, you should add ice to the water to keep it cool.
Provide them with shelter from the heat: If your pet doesn’t already have shelter from the heat, get them some. If you have trees in your yard, then that’s OK. If you don’t, then get a tent with no sides that they can retreat to when it’s hot.