At Heating Specialties, we know the summer months can be uncomfortable for everyone, including our furry, four-legged friends. With August heat waves bearing down, it’s time to get clever with creative ways to keep your pets cool. That’s why we’ve created a list of five ways to protect your animal pals from the heat.
1. Never leave your pets alone in a parked car
Everyone has heard stories about people leaving pets in cars with horrible consequences. On summer days, temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly soar to dangerous levels. This is true no matter what the weather is like. Left alone, your pet could suffer irreversible organ damage or even die. Not only is it dangerous to leave your animals in a parked car (yes, even with the A/C on), it’s also illegal in several states. Don’t become a part of the statistic! Leave your pet at home while you’re out in the heat!
2. Limit exercise
Be careful when exercising with your pet on warm days. Depending on the temperature, adjust the duration and intensity of your outdoor movements. For instance, on hot days, limit rigorous outdoor play to short periods, and ideally, only during the early morning or evening hours. Keep walks at a gentle pace, and always bring cool water with you to keep your dog hydrated. Asphalt gets boiling hot in the summer and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible or invest in a pair of animal booties to protect sensitive pads.
3. Provide shade and water
Any time your pet is outside, make sure they have ample shade and fresh, cold water. Many counties have laws on the amount of time a pet is allowed to be outdoors. During heat waves, add ice to your pet’s water whenever possible. Trees and tarps serve as good shade as they do not obstruct airflow. When embarking on adventures this summer, make sure there are plenty of shady spots available for your furry friends to take a cool break.
4. Cool down creatively
Looking for more ways to keep your pets cool? Head to the groomers! Getting a summer cut for animals with longer coats will help them stay cooler in the late summer months. Since cuts aren’t advised for your double-coated bud, pick up a quality rake and de-matting comb and remove as much of that undercoat as possible.
For at-home methods, try soaking a towel or mat in cold water to create a cooling body wrap for your pet. If your dog enjoys baths, see if they’ll go for a soak in the tub. If your pet likes to chase toys or play fetch, toss an ice cube instead of a ball. Let your dog or cat lick it until it’s gone.
5. Recognize the symptoms
Extreme temperatures can cause your pet to overheat. Animals who are overweight, very young or very old, or have heart or respiratory diseases are at greater risk for overheating. Signs of heatstroke include heavy panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, profuse salivation, lack of coordination, and mild weakness. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit, and an elevated body temperature of 104° F or more.
Should you notice any of the symptoms listed above, immediately move your pet to a shaded or air-conditioned area, apply cold, wet towels or ice packs to the trunk (under legs and in the groin area, where fur is usually thinner) and throat area, and dribble small amounts of cold water into its mouth. Once stable, head to a veterinarian immediately!
Don’t let the summer heat get you or your four-legged friends down. Another great way to stay cool this summer is by scheduling routine HVAC maintenance. Our trusted professionals at Heating Specialties are ready to serve you! Call us at (866) 923-2653 or contact us online to schedule service today.