The summers can get hot in Libertyville, and unfortunately, our dogs and cats don’t always fare as well as we do in the warmer weather. Their thick fur coats and an inability to sweat make them more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Dogs and cats instead expel heat by panting, which is far less efficient. Flat-faced breeds like Bulldogs, Boxers, and Persian cats are even more susceptible because of their shortened airways. To help your pet stay cool in the summer sun, we’ve come up with some pet heat safety tips!

Safety Tips for Avoiding Heat Exhaustion in Dogs & Cats

  • Take your daily walks early in the morning or later in the evening. Don’t walk your dog in the middle of the day when temperatures are soaring.
  • Avoid walking on asphalt as it can get hot enough to burn your pet’s paws. Plus, since your pet is so much closer to the ground than you are, the heat radiating off the blacktop can raise their body temperature to dangerous levels.
  • NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. Even on a mild day, the temperature inside can skyrocket to dangerous levels in mere minutes, putting your pet at risk of irreversible internal damage and even death.
  • If your pet needs to be outdoors for a while, give them plenty of water, and make sure they have access to a shady spot to rest in.
  • Recognize the signs of heat exhaustion: lethargy and unresponsiveness, excessive panting, raised body temperature and drooling. If you notice these symptoms, get your pet indoors to air conditioning as quickly as possible and call your veterinarian immediately for further direction.

Water Safety at The Beach

  • When out by the lake, keep a leash on your dog. This keeps them from swimming out farther than they can handle. Dogs can sometimes have a hard time gauging their level of fatigue and may exhaust themselves before getting back to shore.
  • Barrel-chested breeds like Boxers and Bulldogs aren’t great swimmers so make sure you get a lifejacket that fits them properly and helps them stay afloat.
  • If you take a boat out on the lake, every pet needs a lifejacket just like everyone else!
  • Try to keep your dog from ingesting sand. In their excitement to pick up a thrown frisbee or ball, or in a digging frenzy, they can sometimes ingest quite a bit of sand. Sand can become like cement in their stomach and will require veterinary intervention to alleviate.

For more tips, call us at (847) 680-6543 or ask us at your next appointment!