The weather temperatures are slowly but surely beginning to climb, and here in the central valley, temperatures reach the triple digits on a daily basis throughout the summer months.
Sadly, many pets die every summer from heat exhaustion.
If you think it is hot outside, it is even hotter for your pet. Your pet’s internal body temperature is naturally between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
In an effort to keep all of our pets healthy and safe this summer, we have compiled a few tips to help your pet beat the heat.
- Leave your pet home whenever possible.
- Provide different temperature zones in your house to keep pets comfortable.
- Whenever your pet is outside, make sure they have unlimited access to shade and water.
- If you choose to take your pet on a walk or hike, do so only during the coolest hours of the day and always bring enough water.
- Overweight and short-nosed pets are at a higher risk of heat stress.
- When outdoors, avoid hot surfaces like asphalt that can burn your pet’s paws.
Finally, although it has been said many times, NEVER EVER leave a pet in a car.
Even in the shade, even with the windows down, even if temperatures outside do not seem severe, cars heat up at a rapid pace and the temperatures inside can be deadly.
An independent study showed that the interior temperature of a vehicle parked in outside temperatures rose steadily as time increased, even with open windows. Below is the time and temperature relationship displayed
Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
Outside Air Temperature (F)
> 1 hour
Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University
In the event that you are concerned that your pet may be suffering from heat stress, some symptoms to look for are:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive drooling
- Abnormal tongue and gum color
Move your pet to a cooler area, slowly begin to cool their body temperature, and have them seen by your veterinarian immediately.
If you ever have questions or concerns about keeping your pet safe and happy during warm summer months, please feel free to call Bullard-Marks Vet Med Center at (559) 432-0887 or ask at your next appointment.