Overheating is one of the biggest summertime issues for pets. After the past few weeks with soaring temperatures and humidity, would you know the signs of heatstroke and how to treat it? There are a number of factors that impact overheating. They include your pet’s coat, activity level and exposure to sunlight and humidity.

Cats and dogs display heatstroke differently so watch for these signs.

Cats:

1. Do they seem weaker than normal?
2. Are they breathing fast?
3. Are they vomiting or have diarrhea?
4. Have they lost consciousness?

Dogs:

1. Are they constantly panting?
2. Do they have red gums?
3. Is there little to no urine?
4. Has their activity level decreased significantly?

If you start to see signs of heatstroke, move your pet to a cool area, use a towel or hose to wet their fur and put them in front of a fan. In extreme cases, get them to the vet immediately

How to prevent overheating in your pets:
1. Don’t leave your pet in the car. On a 20 degree day, it only takes 20 minutes for your car to reach 40 degrees.
2. Don’t walk midday or if you absolutely have to; keep walks short and use a cooling vest. The polymer crystals will actually cool your pet.
3. Don’t use ice or extremely cold water to cool pets. It can constrict the veins and actually slow the cooling process down.
4. DO mist your pet with a water bottle
5. Keep plenty of water with you and make sure they drink often
6. Ensure your pet has access to shade or keep them indoors.

By following these simple rules and watching for symptoms, both you and your pets can enjoy the dog days of summer.

About the Author

Corry Hamilton is the owner of Taking The Lead (www.takingthelead.ca) — a pet care business that focuses on pet nutrition and well-being. Like many entrepreneurs, her journey towards creating a business of her own wasn’t a straight path, but she believes that no matter what life throws at you, you can always pick yourself up and move on. You never know where it may take you and make all your dreams come true. You can check out what Corry is up to on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TakingTheLead.CorryHamilton and Twitter: https://twitter.com/TakingTheLead07