Yup, the summer heat is killin' us too!
Now, imagine that heat with fur.
As temperatures rise, it is essential to know why and how to keep your pet cool this summer. More often than not, we only realize the effect of summer's heat on our pets when it gets severe, i.e. pale eyes, pale gums, vomiting, reduced energy, loss of appetite, and so on, all of which are signs of acute dehydration and a possible heat stroke. By that time, there's more damage done than usual.
Why is water important for pets?
What are the signs of dehydration in pets?
Sometimes, and often, unintentionally, we end up in a dangerous situation such as heat stroke or severe dehydration. In such cases, it is best to spot warning signs as early as possible and rush to a veterinarian for treatment. Remember, you cannot treat dehydration or a heatstroke at home, and the only and best option is to rush to a vet -
Loss of skin elasticity
In order to test whether or not your pet has lost skin elasticity, gently lift the skin between the shoulder blades (1-2 inches south of the collar) and then let it go. In well-hydrated pets, the skin springs back to its original form, but in dehydrated pets, it takes longer than usual.
Sunken eyes refer to eyeballs that turn inwards or when the eyelids appear pale and droopy - both of which are severe signs of dehydration or a possible heat stroke.
Loss of appetite
When dehydrated, pets often lose their appetite and will refrain from eating even the most delicious of foods simply because their bodies aren't able to function without sufficient water.
Both cats and dogs have wet noses when well-hydrated. Cool noses are a way of regulating body temperature - like an in-built cooler. This lubrication comes from mucus glands that work on body hydration. When your pet is dehydrated, the mucus glands stop producing that lubrication, and as a result, your pet's nose feels dry and cracked.
Pale, sticky gums
Pets that are dehydrated have pale, sticky gums, i.e. gums, when touched, are sticky and whitish-pink as opposed to a healthy reddish-pink.
Labored panting in pets, especially dogs, is a common sign of dehydration and often the first noticeable sign that calls for attention.
Like humans, pets cannot function without water, and when they have to, their bodies don't work at their best. Lethargy, or decreased energy and activity, are signs of dehydration in both dogs and cats.
Vomiting & diarrhea
Lesser known but still very common, vomiting and diarrhea are a pets' bodies' way of letting you know that he/she is severely dehydrated and requires medical attention immediately.
How to keep pets cool during summer?
Like they say, better safe than sorry, and that's never been more true, especially with dehydration in pets.
With heatwave warnings across the country, there is a need now more than ever to pay attention to keeping our pets cool this summer!