Heat-related deaths happen every year. While it’s true that most cases are related to accidentally leaving the pet in a hot car, deaths and serious injuries also happen when pets are left outside or in enclosed spaces without proper ventilation. Since your cat or dog or other pets aren’t able to verbalize their discomfort (that they are overheating), it’s more difficult to judge whether they are getting the cooling attention they need. Obvious signs that your pet is overheating include panting, excessive drooling, weakness, glazed eyes, vomiting, or even seizures. The good news is that you can help your pet to be more comfortable and cool.
Check Your HVAC System
Your pets may be in danger of overheating if the HVAC system stops working, particularly when you’re not home. To avoid unexpected cooling emergencies, properly maintain and care for your AC unit. Here are some quick tips:
- Regularly replace the filters.
- Schedule regular visits by the HVAC technician.
- Keep the outside unit clear of debris.
- Set and maintain a constant temperature
>> The Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78°F (26°C) while you are home and lowering the setting by 7°-10°F when you’re away from home.
While energy efficiency is important, as is saving money, you must also consider the health and happiness of your pet(s) during the day. Temperatures can quickly mount, and there’s typically no escape in those situations.
Use Wet Towels and Ice Packs
Pets don’t always love to be covered by wet towels or cloths. Cats, in particular, don’t usually love to get a bath when they are overheating and in need of cooling. When you recognize the signs of overheating, or even if you notice that you’re starting to feel very warm, immediately act to protect your pets and help them to cool off. In most cases, it’s quick-and-easy:
- Wet a towel or shirt and put it over your pet’s back.
- Set up a wading pool so your pet can splash around and cool off.
- Prepare frozen treats.
- Add ice cubes to the water bowl.
Your efforts don’t have to be extravagant, cost you money, or even take time. It takes a few minutes to help your pet stay healthy and happy.
It’s probably the easiest thing you will ever have to remember: WATER. It’s also important, not just for your pets but for you too. Fresh, cool water helps you and your pet to avoid dehydration. Combined with shade, a sprinkler, and even that kiddie pool, water can help your pet to survive excessive heat. It’s not just a matter of bringing water when you’re outside, though. You must always keep your pet’s water bowl full of clear-and-fresh water. As a general rule, your pet should be drinking an ounce of water for every pound that they weigh. On hot, summer days, your pet should be drinking even more than normal, though. Be sure to encourage your pet to drink lots of water.
Keeping your pet cool and in the shade is easy, but it’s also important. You don’t want your pet to be a casualty. So, you can think of it as your mission in life to keep your pet safe and happy. Slobbery kisses go to show, your pet will be forever grateful.