Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs & Cats in Boynton Beach, FL
Cats and dogs are more vulnerable to heatstroke than we are due to their fur coats and inability to sweat. Cats and dogs expel heat by panting, which is far less effective than sweating. What’s more is that flat-faced breeds like Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, and Persians, have a harder time keeping themselves cool due to their shortened airways. In the Florida sunshine and humidity, conditions are perfect for overheating, so it’s important to take precautions to keep your pet cool.
Tips for Keeping it Cool
- Avoid taking walks midday when the sun is at its highest. Instead, take walks with your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler.
- Surfaces like asphalt and concrete can get very hot in the sun, so don’t walk your pet over these surfaces as they can burn your pet’s paws and raise their body temperature. If the pavement feels too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for pets to walk on.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car. The temperature inside can rise to dangerous levels in mere minutes, putting your pet at risk of heatstroke and even death. Always take them out with you or leave them at home in the air conditioning!
- If your pet is outdoors, make sure they have lots of cool water to drink and a shady place in which to rest
- In the event you don’t have air conditioning, make sure your dog or cat has plenty of water and a cooler place where they can rest. Turning on a fan, or even filling a kiddie pool with water outside can help keep them cool!
How to Recognize & Treat Heatstroke in Dogs & Cats
The first step toward treating heatstroke is recognizing it! Common indications your pet may be starting to overheat include:
- Excessive panting
- Lethargy and unresponsiveness
If you notice your pet slowing down in the heat, take them inside to air conditioning immediately. Wrap them in cool wet towels to help bring their body temperature down and call your veterinarian for further instruction. By the time your pet started vomiting, having diarrhea, or is collapsed, it is essential that you bring them to an emergency vet as quickly as possible. Heatstroke can be a fatal condition if left untreated.
If ever you’re worried about your pet’s health and well-being, please don’t hesitate to call us at (561) 732-3629. We’ll do everything we can to help!
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