Keeping Your Pet Cool When Temperatures Rise
It’s getting hot in Virginia Beach, and we want to make sure that your pet is protected from the dangers of extreme heat. In addition to worrying about dehydration, we also want you to think about their paws on hot pavement! It’s important to provide water and shaded areas for outside relief to keep their routine the same while the temperature changes.
To check the ground temperature before you take your dog outside, press the back of your hand firmly on the ground for 7 seconds and confirm that it will not be too hot for your pet. If it’s too hot for your hand after 7 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Depending on the type of asphalt, the ground directly in sunlight can get as hot as 143 degrees when it’s just 87 degrees outside! Damage can be caused to your pet’s paws at 125 degrees.
Of course, it’s not just walking that can cause problems for your pet in severe heat. It’s important to keep them hydrated! Dehydration often accompanies symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, hypothermia (low body temperature), fever, and other conditions. If you feel like your pet is dehydrated, we have some tips for you.
What to Do
- If moderate or severe dehydration, seek veterinary attention. (See below for how to assess if dehydration is potentially severe in your pet.)
- If dehydration is mild and the pet is not vomiting, give frequent, small amounts of water by mouth; that means in the range of 1 tsp for a cat or small dog to 1 tbsp to 1/4 cup for a medium to large dog every few hours.
- If your pet is lethargic, in pain, or has not eaten for 24 hours, seek veterinary attention.
What NOT to Do
- Do not allow your pet to have immediate free access to large amounts of water or other liquid.
- Do not feed your pet any dry food until directed to do so by a veterinary professional.
Dehydration makes your pet feel lethargic, and can potentially cause severe problems with the kidneys and other internal organs if untreated. It’s important to make sure they’re drinking water and staying cool when the temperature rises.
When it gets hot outside, we’re here to make sure you’re prepared to keep your pet comfortable. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us today!