By Dr. Patricia Hart
June 3rd and the air conditioner got put in in a hurry because I’m in charge of the temperature of my own environment. Your pets, not so much. How can you tell if your pet is overheating?
Dogs and cats don’t have sweat glands like we do. Dogs and cats evaporate off heat through the glands on their feet and by panting. Cats don’t utilize the panting method commonly. In fact, any cat panting is something that should be checked by the vet right away. Dogs that can’t stop panting even at rest are likely overheated. Use rubbing alcohol on their foot pads to accelerate evaporative cooling but never submerge or soak with ice cold water. Cats tend to tolerate heat better than dogs as they are more nocturnal and spend a lot of time resting in a maximally stretched out position when it’s hot. Your dog will do any activity in the heat of the day that you ask him to..so use your better judgement. Cars are out if you need to leave them even for a few minutes. Even leaving a car with windows closed and air conditioning on can be life threatening.
Next summer enemy … a blog on coping with your dog’s phobias from fireworks and thunderstorms.