For many of us, the heat of the summer means pool parties, barbeques, and sun tans.  For many pets, though, the heat can quickly lead to heat exhaustion.  Dogs and cats have an extra layer of insulation cannot always exchange heat as efficiently as we do.  In particular, “smush-face” breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Persians have a very difficult time.  This doesn’t mean that your pet can’t enjoy the sunshine, it just means that you need to take some extra precautions when the mercury rises.

Keep a close eye on your pet.  If you begin to notice very heavy panting or deep, fast breathing (hyperventilation), it is probably time to get into the air-conditioning.  Other warning signs can include increased salivation, lethargy or disorientation, and vomiting or diarrhea.  Unchecked these signs can quickly develop into seizures or coma.  Pets should be observed regularly if left outside unattended.  Never leave them in a car unattended.

Make sure your pet has what it needs.  Fresh, cool water should be available at all times.  If you are hiking or walking be sure to bring an extra bottle for Fido.  Your pet should have access to shade and the ability to get out of the heat if desired.  Consider getting a small wading pool for your pet to lounge in.

Don’t chance it.  If your pet is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion, seek veterinary care immediately.

If you have any questions contact us or reach out to your primary veterinarian.