Now that the weather is getting hotter, pet owners need to start thinking about their furry friends’ needs. The same way pet owners need to protect their dogs’ toes and put them in jackets during winter months so that they do not get frostbite on their paws. Just like with humans, dogs and cats can suffer from heat stroke, dehydration, and other ailments caused by too much sun exposure and heat. With their fur and inability to sweat, it is very easy for pets to overheat, so as their owners we need to be vigilant to make sure that they are comfortable and happy.

Why dogs overheat?

There are two main reasons why dogs overheat; hyperthermia and upper respiratory issues. Hyperthermia is caused when a dog is put in an environment where they are not able to regulate their body temperature because it’s too hot. An example of this is being trapped in a car on a hot day or staying outside too long during the summer without any shade. Dog breeds, like bulldogs, also have a higher chance of overheating thanks to their compromised upper respiratory system. Bulldogs cannot pant enough to remove heat from their bodies and end up heating up further through the exertion of panting instead of cooling themselves down. Hyperthermia and compromised upper respiratory systems can cause heat stroke which can lead to sickness and even death.

So how can you still enjoy the great outdoors?

Pets are smart in the summertime. They enjoy staying somewhere cool and will find shade when they need it. It is still essential for them to get outdoor time and exercise though, so schedule these activities very early in the morning or at night, when the heat of the day is less oppressive. Doing this will make it easier for your dog to breathe, the ground will be cooler on their paws, and they will have an easier time regulating their body temperature. If you must be outside with your pet during the day, make sure to stay in a pleasant and shady area.

No more car rides

In milder weather, many people bring their pets along on errands and leave them in the car. A lot of dogs do enjoy car rides, but when it is a scorching hot day in the summer, it is hazardous to leave them inside the car while you pop into the store. Temperatures inside of a vehicle during the summer can reach 60 degrees Celsius! This is very dangerous for your pet. It is best to leave them safely at home where they can enjoy their time.

Hydration!

One of the most important things you can do to keep your pet from overheating is keeping them hydrated. If they are outside, make sure that they have a water dish. Inside, make sure that you are keeping their water dish fresh and full. It is even recommended to have water dishes available on each level of your home.

You don’t want to have to take your pet to the veterinarian for dehydration or heat stroke. No pet likes a visit to the animal hospital. If they overheat, however, you may have to do just that. The team at Eglinton Highway 10 Veterinary hospital wants your pet to be comfortable this summer. Make sure that they are well hydrated and nice and cool.