Extreme temperatures and booming sounds can have big impacts on our pets. With record-breaking heat forecast across much of the nation and Independence Day celebrations on the horizon, Freshpet is helping pet parents prepare for the official arrival of summer with tips that can help keep their pets healthy and safe.
Heat stroke can occur quickly in dogs. Without the ability to sweat the same way humans do, it’s important for pet parents to understand ways to cool their pets down when temperatures rise and how to avoid common mistakes to keep their pets safe.
“Just because we can manage the heat and humidity, doesn’t mean our pets can,” said Dr. Aziza Glass, Freshpet’s expert veterinarian. “Our pets are vulnerable to temperatures over 80 degrees. However, there are things that we can do to keep our pets safe and protected from heat-related injuries and some may come as a surprise.”
- Fill their Water Bowls: Just like us, clean water is essential when managing the heat. Cool water can help cool down your pet’s body temperature. Moisture-rich fresh food, like Freshpet, can also help with hydration.
- Limit time outdoors: While outdoor activities are typically recommended for pets, their inability to sweat the same way humans do can cause them to heat up quickly. Limit walks to early morning or after the sun sets and stay indoors the rest of the day.
- Avoid shaving your pet: While summer cuts for long-haired dogs are okay, shaving your pet can expose their skin to harmful sun damage and cause overheating more quickly.
Glass says pet parents should become educated on how to recognize heat stroke. Heavy panting, drooling, high body temperature, increased heart rate and fatigue are signs of heat stroke in dogs. “If you believe your dog is having a heat stroke, bring them indoors immediately to help cool down,” she added. “A common mistake is putting the pet in a cold ice bath. That can actually shock their system and cause quick changes in their blood pressure. Instead, soak a towel in room temperature water and wipe your dog down to start the process of cooling them down. Afterwards, proceed immediately to your primary care veterinarian or closest emergency center.”
Fireworks on the Fourth
Booming sounds and crackling fireworks can send some pets into sensory overdrive. According to Glass, with an elevated ability to interpret sound frequencies audibly and physically, a dog’s sensitivity to loud noises means Fourth of July celebrations can make for particularly anxious events. Their reactions can send them under beds and jumping fences to flee from the sounds, but there are ways to help make the holiday a bit less stressful for our canine companions.
- Create a calm environment: Try to understand if your neighbors plan to launch fireworks. If so, create a space that helps your dog deal with the noise. A sound machine, lavender oil on their collar and snuggles under blankets can help.
- Remain indoors: Avoid taking your dog outside if you’re planning to view fireworks or set off your own. A dog’s first reaction can be to flee from the noise and search for a safe spot, placing them in more danger.
- Stay close: Pets feel less anxious when they feel safe. Make sure you or someone they feel safe with is by their side until the fireworks are over, offering comfort, treats and affection throughout the evening.