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Keep Your Pet Safe in the Summer Heat

Dog and Cat Care Tips from your Little Rock Veterinarian

With the recent spike in temperatures across Little Rock and Central Arkansas, the SRVC team wanted to share information about keeping your furry friends safe and cool.

Summer can be an uncomfortable time for pets. You can help keep your pets safe with these summer safety tips:

6 Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in Summer

1. Don’t Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car

Don’t leave your pet in a parked car for even a second. Not even with the air conditioner running. On hot days, temperatures in a car rise to dangerous levels. Even with the windows open, temperatures can quickly rise to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Your pet could suffer heat stroke, organ damage, or worse.

And as you prepare to travel for summer vacation, don’t forget to refer to our tips for traveling with pets. 

2. Keep an Eye on Humidity

Arkansas is humid…please remember to keep an eye on the humidity. If the humidity is too high, pets are unable to cool themselves and their temperatures quickly soar to dangerous levels. A dog’s temperature should not go higher than 104 degrees.

3. Limit Exercise

Be careful when exercising your pet in the summer. Adjust the duration and intensity according to the temperature. On extremely hot days, try to limit exercise to the early morning or later evening hours. Be particularly careful with dogs with white-colored ears who are susceptible to skin cancer.

Also, be careful with short-nosed pets who struggle with breathing. Asphalt gets extremely hot and can burn paws, so try to walk your dogs on grass and carry water with you to avoid your pet dehydrating.

4. Don’t Leave it to a Fan

Pets respond a lot differently to heat than humans. Fans don’t cool them off as effectively as they do people.

5. Provide Water and Shade

Anytime your pet is outdoors, you should make sure they are protected from the sun and heat and have plenty of fresh water to drink. During heat waves, add ice to the water to keep it cool. Tarps and tree shade are ideal solutions to shade as they will not obstruct airflow. A doghouse or kennel won’t provide relief from the heat – in fact, it retains the heat.

6. Keep Your Pet Cool Inside and Out

You can keep your pet cool and occupied with quick and easy DIY frozen treats. Use items like peanut butter, mashed pumpkin, and other favorites. Always make sure your pet has access to water, both inside and outside.

To keep your pet from overheating, use a cooling body wrap, cooling collar, mat, vest, or damp towel. Soak the products in cool water and they will keep cool for a few days at a time. If your dog enjoys the water, try to get him or her to take a cooling soak in a small pool or even the bathtub.

Treat Your Pet for Heatstroke

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke, get him or her into an air-conditioned area as soon as possible. Apply cold towels to the neck, chest, and head, or run cool water over the body. Allow your pet to drink small amounts of water or even lick an ice cube. Try to get your Little Rock veterinarian as soon as possible.

There are also many other great resources to refer to for additional tips.

For more information, contact us today.

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