It’s HOT outside, y’all! We’re in the DOG days of summer… and cats may have 9 lives, but they shouldn’t burn through half of them trying to stay hydrated in this heat!
I mean, you practically walk to your car and you’re already sweating! You can feel the steamy pavement’s heat, radiating up your legs as you walk. Now, imagine enduring all of that with a fur coat on and barefoot on the hot pavement. OUCH! Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans. They pant to expel the majority of their heat, and some heat also escapes through the foot pads and nose. This cooling mechanism can be improved through vasodilation, a process of expanding the blood vessels, near the skin’s surface, to cool the blood and decrease body temperature. When this process fails, we enter dangerous heat overload and potentially, heatstroke. This may require emergency veterinary services. One way to prevent this negative event, is by keeping well hydrated and protected from the sun. Follow along as we explore ways to keep our fur-family hydrated!
1. Provide multiple bowls of clean, fresh water
2. Place a few ice cubes in their water
3. Create interest by adding a pet water fountain to your home
4. Provide plenty of shaded spaces, if pets are outdoors
5. When traveling, bring a collapsible water dish
6. Add water to their food
7. Keep pets indoors on hot days
8. Avoid pavement when possible; choose grass instead, to ward off burns to the foot pads
9. Walk pets during the coolest parts of the day (early morning or late evening) and take frequent breaks
10. Remember, older pets, brachycephalic breeds like boxers and bulldogs, or pets with chronic disease, do not tolerate heat well. Some medications, like steroids, may also reduce your pet’s heat tolerance level.
With a little forethought, beating the heat is pawsible. Stay chill, y’all!