Keeping Your Pet Cool in the Summer
As the cooler spring weather gives way to the hot Summer months, you'll be spending more time outside with your pets, walking and playing in the sunshine. But while you are having fun, you will need to keep your pet cool to protect him from heat-related illness and injury.
Most people don't think about their pets getting sunburned but they certainly can. White and lightly colored pets can suffer sunburn if they experience too much exposure to the sun. Long-term sun exposure can lead to skin damage and in some cases skin cancers. Limit the amount of time your fair-haired pets stay in direct sunlight. If any type of discoloration or sore appears, consult your Veterinarian for a check-up. Areas that are commonly affected are the ears, eyelids and nose.
To keep your pet protected try 1. Doggles Pet Sunscreen (2 oz). The sunscreen is easy to apply and will keep your dog or cat protected from UVA and UVB rays. In addition to supplements give your pet a daily skin and coat supplement to promote a healthy and radiant coat. We recommend 2. Derm Tabs ES by Pet Health Solutions.
Excessive heat conditions can cause irritation and skin chaffing. The use of 3. LumiLyt Whitening Shampoo Formulated to restore natural radiance and luster of the hair coat. Contains natural colloidal oatmeal to condition the skin and soothe irritation and is ideal for grooming and coat manageability.
Heat Injuries - Dogs
Heat injury occurs when a dog's body temperature exceeds his ability to cool himself. Unlike people, your dog's normal body temperature ranges between 100 and 102.5 F. When body temperature elevates above 106 F, normal cooling mechanisms are overwhelmed, which results in a serious condition requiring intervention and medical treatment. This type of temperature elevation is different from a fever, which is a normal response to inflammation or infection. The severity of heat injury can range from a mild/moderate temperature increase called heat stress/ prostration (103 to 105 F) to a potentially life threatening condition referred to as heat stroke (106 F and higher). Certain breeds are more prone to heat injury than others. Large double-coated breeds like the chow are particularly susceptible. Dogs bred for life in cold climates such as Malamutes, Huskies, American Eskimos and Newfoundland’s often have little tolerance for heat and humidity. Dogs with shorter faces such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Sharpies and Boston Terriers have less ability to cope with a heat load due to their short and narrow respiratory systems.
Heat Injuries - Cats
Unlike dogs, cats do not sweat by panting. Instead they sweat through their paws. On a hot Summer's day, you may notice your cat has taken to groom himself more than usual. This is how they cool down. By licking themselves, and leaving the saliva on their fur, when the saliva finally evaporates off the fur, the cat's temperature goes down.
Cats will seek cool places to lie down in when they get to hot. Common areas are; sinks, bathtubs, litter pans, potted houseplants, shady tile floors or parked in front of the fan or the air conditioner. If your home reaches 90 degrees, your cat will begin to pant. This is your cat's way of exchanging heat inside his body with the cooler air outside. Cats will also pant when they are frightened or scared. Your cat's temperature should be 100.5 F to 102.5 F. The only accurate way to determine if your cat is running a fever is to take his temperature using a rectal thermometer, or using one of the newer ear thermometers. With a nice fur coat on their backs, cats can find it difficult to stay cool on hot days and can really feel the heat.
Heat stress can happen quite rapidly, sometimes only in a few minutes, especially in pets that live primarily indoors. Even the pets that live or spend a lot of time outside can succumb to the heat if their cooling mechanisms are exceeded by weather extremes.