Even though come Labor Day we feel that summer is coming to an end, the heat in a lot of areas of the country certainly isn't going away! What steps do you need to take to ensure your pet's health and well being during this time of year?
Hydration is #1 - Water is so important for not only human health, but your fur baby's health as well. We need more water in the heat and so do our pets! Make sure you pet has constant access to healthy drinking water. If you go somewhere take a water dish with you. Encourage drinking in the hot weather by adding ice cubes to the water. If your dog seems to not be urinating as much, dehydration may be setting in so take care.
Watch the Thermostat & Heat Index - Keep an eye on not only the temperature, but the heat index because it factors in humidity as well. If you can't bear to walk outside for a couple of minutes, neither will your dog. Plan activities with your pet early in the morning or later in the evening and keep them in a cooled environment too. Also find out about the breed of dog you have and their tolerance to heat. Different breeds may have different issues in different temperatures. Make sure you know what is good and bad for your dog. Also NEVER leave your dog in a car in the heat, even with the windows down. The temp inside can rise 20 - 30 degrees in an hour.
Signs of Distress - Intense panting, excessive drooling, reddened face, unusually red tongue or gums, wobbly or off balance walking and extreme lethargy are all signs your pet may be under distress. Provide cool air through a fan or a mister and place a towel that has been soaked in cool water on their belly and call the Vet. These could all be signs of overheating or heat stroke.
As fall approaches we tend to not be on alert with the summer heat. In our area we can have extremely hot days and a nicer, cooler day the next, so we need to be diligent when it comes to the care of our pets. Pay attention to the weather and always make sure you pet has plenty of water to drink, no matter what season it is!