Summer is upon us, and as the temperature rises, you need to watch out for your pet’s health.
Summer is upon us, and as the temperature rises, you need to watch out for your pet’s health. But before we get into that, I want you to dig out your winter coat that you kissed goodbye a couple weeks ago, put it on, and then walk outside and take a seat. Yes, this may sound crazy, but as you bake in the sun, it will give you some exposure to what it is like for your pet in the summer. While we are able to kiss that winter coat goodbye in the spring, cats and dogs must wear their coats all year round. Cats and dogs do not sweat in the same way humans do, so it is important as a pet owner to be aware of how they do cool themselves down. When humans sweat, the layer of moisture that appears on our skin cools us when it evaporates; for dogs and cats their sweat glands are located on their foot pads. Here is a list of some of the ways cats and dogs try to get cool when overheated.
This is a dog’s main way of cooling itself down as it allows heat to escape through the mouth. For cats, this method of cooling down tends to be more of their last resort; however, every animal is different, so watch your pet and know their signs of overheating.
This is more for cats than dogs, but many cats will continuously or repeatedly bathe themselves as it works in the same way sweating does. When the saliva on their fur evaporates, it provides the same cooling mechanism that sweating does for humans.
- Sweaty Paws
Since cats’ and dogs’ sweat glands are located on their paws, they may leave a trail of wet footprints on the ground in attempts to cool themselves, but since the paw has a small surface area, it is not the best method to cool themselves. It tends to happen if they are really desperate and other methods are not working.
It is important to keep your furry friends cool this summer and watch out for any signs of overheating, which could lead to serious problems and many costly vet bills. A pet insurance* policy at Pekin Insurance could take away your worry of outrageous vet bills by giving you a way to cover them in case a health problem strikes any time of the year. To help your pets during the summer, use these two tips to keep them cool.
- Limit outdoors time
In the summer, it is best to limit your pet’s time outside, especially between the time of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Many beaches don’t allow dogs on the beach after 10 a.m. or before 5 p.m. as they are looking out for the dogs’ safety. If you are hiking or outside with your cat or dog during the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. time frame, make sure to frequently offer your pet cold water. Also, investing in a spray bottle can be beneficial especially for dogs—since many cats do not like water—to keep them cool. When you spray their fur with the water, the water evaporates and cools them down just like a cat’s saliva does.
- Provide shade
Whether this is done with a stand-alone umbrella, tree, porch, or you holding an umbrella over their head, giving your dogs shade outside is important, so they have somewhere to go when they are hot.
Pets are dependent on their owners to keep them safe and healthy. They can only do so much to cool themselves off. Educate yourself and know your pet’s signs and symptoms, before it is too late. Pets are part of the family, and you wouldn’t let your child sit out in the roasting heat without shade, so don’t let your pet.
*Pekin Insurance Pet Insurance is not available in Arizona.