With sun, heat, and more days spent outdoors, summer is officially in full swing! The month of May is marked Heat Awareness Day while July identifies as National Pet Hydration Awareness Month. When entering a summer of rising temperatures, it is essential to understand how to keep your pets safe while they spend time outdoors.


What is Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion or heat stroke occurs when your pet experiences an increase in body temperature due to environmental conditions. A dog’s normal body temperature is around 101.8 degrees Fahrenheit. If their temperature reaches higher than 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the risks can be life-threatening and emergency medical attention is often warranted.


Signs of Heat Exhaustion in Pets

  •     Heavy panting & rapid breathing
  •     Hot skin
  •     Bright red gums & tongue
  •     Vomiting or diarrhea
  •     Lethargy, collapse, or seizure
  •     Confusion or disorientation


How to Prevent Heat Exhaustion

  •     Avoid long walks on high temperature days and peak temperature hours
  •     Do not leave your pet inside a hot, parked car
  •     Limit the amount of time your pet spends outside on hot days 

.    Take shorter more frequent walks instead of longer, more strenuous activities

  •   Check that there are shaded spots outdoors where your pet may be spending time
  •     Ensure your pet has adequate hydration through bowls of water or to-go bottles


How to Cool Down Your Pet

If you notice your pet is experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion, the most important thing to do is to take them out of that hot environment and call your veterinarian for further guidance. 


Bring your pet to a cool, shaded area and place direct air on him, like a fan, if possible. Making sure they have water close by is also vital. You can cool your pet’s body down by placing some wet towels on the back of the neck, underarms, and lower body. 


However, if your pet shows you any sign that they may be overheated, the best thing to do is take them to your local veterinarian immediately, where they can assess your pet’s temperature and overall health status and will treat accordingly. 


If you are located in the Delray Beach, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach areas, you can always contact the team at West Delray Veterinary at 561-777-7173, or email us at info@westdelrayvet.com or visit our website at www.westdelrayvet.com to schedule an appointment.