Keeping Your Pets Safe In The Heat

June 17, 2014 by

I asked my friend and colleague, Donna Kuck, a retired veterinarian and energy healer, to share some tips on pet safety. Here is her excellent article.

The hot months of the year can be stressful for healthy people. But for our pets (and small children and elderly), the hot months can be deadly. A number of excellent articles are available about keeping pets safe in the heat (and humidity). There is a reference below to an article from The Humane Society of the United States that includes common sense instructions for keeping your pet cool.Boys with dogThe most important things to remember, though, when the temperatures start to warm up are:

  • Dogs and cats do not perspire over their bodies to cool off like people do. Their coats are insulating and keep heat trapped.
  • Dogs cool off by panting – like evaporative coolers. They need access to water. They will overheat when exercising much faster than a person might.
  • On a hot day, the temperature of the air near the ground can be 10-30F hotter than the temperature of the air around your head due to heat reflecting off the ground, concrete or asphalt and being trapped in a thermal layer. Small children and pets are enduring hotter temperatures than you think!
  • Dogs with any restriction to breathing – like the short faced breeds, are missing some of the air-cooling anatomy that longer nosed breeds have. They often have narrow airways and cannot move air well and therefore are much more prone to heat stress. This is compounded if they have a long coat and are overweight.
  • A car is a metal box. Even on a "cool" day of no more than 85F, the inside temperature can rise over 100F within minutes and soar even higher. Dogs and small children can die or suffer irreversible brain and organ damage within minutes.

If in doubt – do your pet a favor and leave it home on hot days.

For more tips and information:

Donna Kuck DVM

Retired veterinarian, Health Coach and Energy Healer

Specializing in the relationship between owners and their pets

Learn more about Donna