July is Beat the Heat Month!
The Mildmay Veterinary Clinic wants to make sure you and your pet stay cool this summer! Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make that happen!
Cold, fresh water is one of the most important things to keep your dog cool on a hot day. Add some ice cubes to your dog’s bowl or make a “pooch-sicle” by freezing a bowl of water for your dog to lick throughout the day. Add a few of his favourite (but safe!) chew toys or treats to the bowl before freezing to create a fun, interactive way for him to stay cool.
Find a comfortable spot in your house away from any sun where your dog can rest during the hottest part of the day. Set up a gel cooling mat to draw heat away from your dog’s body or lay a damp towel on the floor to get a similar cooling effect. Add a small fan to the space and your pooch should stay cool throughout the day!
Have a puppy pool party!
Most dogs LOVE splashing around in a few inches of water, so grab a kiddie pool from your nearest hardware store and fill it up! Include some tennis balls and other floating toys.
Save exercise for the coolest part of the day
If your pet needs to get out of the house to burn some energy, be sure to do it during the coolest parts of the day. Take him out in the early morning or when the sun is going down and keep your walk shorter than normal if temperatures are already above comfortable levels. Make sure your pet is not walking on hot pavement as their paw pads are at risk for burns. If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for theirs!
NEVER Leave Your Pets in the Car
The MVC would also like to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles. If you can’t take your pet with you when you leave your car, leave them at home where they are safe. Cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat, so even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog’s normal body temperature 37.5-39.5°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur. Owners who choose to leave pets unattended in vehicles may face charges under the Ontario SPCA Act or the Criminal Code of Canada. If you see an animal left in a vehicle, call 310-SPCA (7722) or your local police immediately!
Watch for Signs of Heatstroke
Extreme temperatures can cause heatstroke in pets, so keep a close eye on your pet during a heat wave. Some signs of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness.
Animals are at risk for heat stroke if they are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, have heart or respiratory disease and dogs with short snouts. Some specific breeds of dogs—like Boxers, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, and other dogs and cats with short muzzles—will have a much harder time breathing in extreme heat and may be at higher risk.
If you suspect your pet is heat stressed or has heat stroke, we recommend that you call your Vet or take him to your nearest emergency clinic for prompt medical attention.
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)