Summer safety for dogs and cats to prevent sunburn and heat illness
As record temperatures Continuing to plague much of the country, people without fur are not the only ones to fear succumbing to heat-related illnesses.
While young children and people 65 and older are some of the people most at risk for heat-related illnesses, dogs and cats can also suffer from heat, especially since they can’t drink water or turn on a fan, unless they’re really talented.
While there are some obvious ways to keep pets from getting sick, there are some unfamiliar things pet owners can ignore. Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and Dr. Ashley Rossman, veterinarian at Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital in Glenview, Illinois, spoke with USA TODAY to discuss what pet owners should know for this hot summer.
Animals overheat and experience heat stroke
Rossman said she sees an increase in the number of dogs suffering from heat during the summer months, and some are potentially fatal cases. However, Rossman and Kratt said signs that pets may be suffering from heat-related illnesses include reduced activity and alertness, increased panting, and excessive drooling.
“If they see any, I would recommend that they contact their vet,” Kratt said.
Some breeds are more sensitive
People may want to be extra careful if they have pets like Bulldogs, Akitas, and Huskies. Kratt suggests long-haired dogs be brushed off to get rid of that winter coat. As for breeds like bulldogs, their wrinkled faces signify a short nose and respiratory issues.
“These dogs are going to be much more likely to get heat stroke because they don’t have long nasal passages, so they are going to pant more,” Rossman said.
She also said that dogs with fine hair can get sunburned too, and it’s not crazy to put sunscreen on them.
Dr. Millie Rosales of Miami Veterinary Dermatology says PetMD the best sunscreen for dogs is the one made especially for them.
However, if it is not available, Dr Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer at Animal Medical Center in New York, said that sunscreen designed for children and with an SPF of 15 or higher is good. use.
Don’t forget the humans! : These tips can help you avoid heat-related illness
What is a heated dome? : The reason for the Pacific Northwest records
Be aware of this hot sidewalk
If someone wants to walk their dog, they must remember that they cannot put their own shoes on, which means their paws can burn very quickly from the scorching pavement.
“The darker the sidewalk, the more the sun will heat it up,” Kratt said. He added a good way to see how bearable the pavement is for pet parents to put the back of their hand on or just make sure the dogs only walk on the grass.
Even if it is hot, some dogs will not reveal the pain they are feeling, as they may be just trying to be “good boys.”
“Your dog will do whatever it takes to make you happy,” Rossman said.
Don’t forget the bugs
Insects like fleas and ticks are known to thrive in hot climates, according to PetCareRx, which means summer may be their time to shine.
Rossman said that since ticks are more prevalent during the summer, pets are at greater risk of developing tick-borne diseases.
A day at the beach
Taking your dog to the beach, lake, or river might seem like the best idea to keep him cool, but it does come with some risks. Some dogs may like water, but since they are not the best swimmers, breeds like Bulldogs should wear life jackets.
“They’re super cute and they’re wonderful dogs, but they’re sinkers, not swimmers,” Rossman said.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza.