Longer days and higher temperatures. The summer season has officially started and the usual summer outings and recreational activities have to be conducted in a different way this year to ensure everyone’s safety. Filipinos and pet owners are now encouraged to tap into their creative side and come up with different ways to help them and their pets beat the heat and avoid heat stroke for the next two months.
Being in the tropics, the summer heat can be too harsh for pets. More often than not, dogs or cats who suffer from overheating will exhibit excessive panting or difficulty breathing. The symptoms of dehydration are dry nose, visible tiredness, sunken eyes. Additional symptoms include pale gums, panting, bright red, gray, purple, or bluish gums, and a rapid pulse. If left untreated, pets can experience organ failure, which can be fatal. Pet owners should contact their veterinarian right away if their dog or cat exhibits any of these symptoms.
Here are some tips on how pet owners can protect their pets from overheating.
Cool Your Pet Inside and Out
Pet owners must remember that pets sweat differently than humans. Dogs and cats both sweat through their paws, and may pant or self-groom to help bring down their body heat. When the temperature rises, pet owners are encouraged to bring their pets in a well-ventilated indoor area where the air can freely circulate.
Another way for pet owners to help bring down their pets’ body temperature is to wrap a wet towel around their pet, or enjoy time in a pool or a lake or river.
Limit Exercise on Hot Days
Pets require regular exercise regardless of the season. During the summer time, owners can design and come up with fun ways to exercise their pets without exposing their four-legged companions to too much heat.
Owners must take note that if the floor is too hot for them to touch, then it is hotter on the pets’ paws therefore they have to adjust the intensity and duration of their walks to ensure their pets’ overall wellbeing.
On very hot days, pet owners should consider walking their dogs very early in the morning or late evening time when the temperature is much lower or it is not s hot. Dog owners may also opt to have their pets play on the grass instead of the hot asphalt so their dogs’ soft and sensitive paws are safe from the heat.
While exercising or playing with their pets, owners must never forget to provide enough fresh water for their pets.
Provide Ample Water
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, especially during the summer time. Therefore, owners must give them plenty of fresh, cool, and clean water to help quench their thirst. Having a bottle of cold water, as well as a clean pet bowl, is recommended to prevent pets from drinking dirty water from pools or standing water when they are outside the house. Several products are now commercially available to help owners and their pets stay cool during the summer.
Pet owners should always keep an eye for signs of overheating. If their pets are unresponsive, or showing signs such as wheezing, disorientation, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or even collapse, pet owners must immediately contact and bring their dogs or cats to the nearest vet and seek proper treatment.
About the Pet Food Institute:
Pet Food Institute (PFI) is committed to educating pet owners about proper pet nutrition to keep pets healthy and happy. Through its local initiative, Well-Fed, Well-Nurtured campaign in partnership with the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines (VPAP), PFI seeks to advocate responsible pet ownership to the ever-growing Filipino pet community.
Since 1958, the Pet Food Institute has been the voice of the U.S. pet food industry. PFI is the industry’s representative before Congress and state legislatures, as well as state and federal agencies; public education and media relations resource; organizer of seminars and educational programs; and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food, an industry with more than $20 billion in U.S. retail sales and $1.3 billion in exports in 2015.