It is a nice hot summer and boy, are we enjoying the sun after this winter’s ferocity.
Beware, however, that the sun has its dangerous side. Heat can build up in situations that we don’t expect, and heat stroke is a current and life-threatening risk for our companion animals. In fact, did you know that it is a bigger risk for your dog and cat than it is for you?
Why you ask? Humans have several ways of dealing with overheating: we can take off our clothes, we can sweat from almost every area or our body, we can breathe more to get that hot breath out (similar to panting), and we can choose to have a nice, cool glass of water, a dip in the pool or seek out shade and air conditioning.
Our pets are more limited: cats are able to pant and sweat only from their footpads, while dogs only have panting as a means to cool their bodies. Unless we offer our animals the opportunity to join a shady place and offer them water to drink, we quickly find that their options for meeting the challenges of heat are very limited.
In summary, do not forget to provide your pet with a good amount of water and access to a shady spot if you decide to place it outside this summer.
Observe your pet, and he if he or she appears to be panting excessively, lethargic or loses consciousness, has a seizure, or develops bloody vomiting or diarrhea you may have a serious problem. Bring him or her immediately to the coolest area possible, wet your pet down and place a fan on him or her and call a veterinarian.
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET IN YOUR CAR, EVEN FOR A FEW MINUTES: we may think opening the windows allows airflow but it still becomes a furnace! You can watch the following video to give you an idea of the dangers or do the test yourself!
Have you ever had to wait in the car on a 30-degree day for someone to return from a quick trip to the depanneur? How long did you last with the windows wide open?