From Pets Best, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats founded in 2005.
Dogs and cats are vulnerable to many of the same summertime risks as humans, including heat stroke. To help keep pets safe and healthy in the summer heat, here are two hazards to be aware of.
1. Heat Stroke
Heat stroke occurs when body temperatures rise to dangerous levels and pets are unable to accommodate the excessive heat, leading to organ dysfunction and death in some cases.
Short-nosed breeds have the highest risk of suffering from heat stroke. This includes English bulldogs, pugs, French bulldogs, Boston terriers and Persian cats. Long-haired pets such as Great Pyrenees, chows, Alaskan malamutes and other cold-weather breeds are also at a high risk for overheating.
To prevent dogs and cats from experiencing heat stroke, pet owners should keep their animals in the shade when outdoors, avoid exercising pets in high temperatures, and provide indoor pets with ventilation and cool water. Pet owners should never leave their animals inside cars as the temperature can reach deadly levels within minutes. Pets should be taken to a veterinarian immediately if they experience symptoms of heat stroke, including lethargy, labored breathing and unresponsiveness.
2. Burned Paw Pads
The summer sunshine can raise the temperature of asphalt roads to a dangerous degree, even when the temperature outdoors feels pleasant. If the asphalt or sidewalk is too hot for people to walk on barefoot, it is also too hot for dogs and cats.
If you must walk your pet on asphalt during the summer, remain in shaded areas. Some people will carry their pets to grass or dirt areas, or purchase boots to protect animals’ paw pads from painful blistering.
While dogs and cats can experience a broad range of heat-related injuries, Pets Best offers coverage for a variety of health issues, including for heat stroke and burned paw pads.