Overheating is one of the biggest summertime issues for pets. According to Starkey, dogs — especially larger breeds with longer coats — are more prone to heatstroke than cats, but it’s important to understand the signs in both animals.
A number of factors impact overheating, including your pet’s coat, activity level and exposure to sunlight and humidity. If you notice signs of heatstroke, Starkey recommends moving your pets to a cool area, using a towel or hose to wet their fur and sitting them in front of a fan. In extreme cases — if your pup is very weak or has dark gums — seek help from a vet.
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How to tell if your pet has a heatstroke
Mist your pet with a spray bottle.
Keep plenty of water nearby, and replenish it often.
Ensure your pet has access to shade or can come inside.
Leave your pet in your car. On a 20-degree day, it only takes 20 minutes for a car’s interior to rise to a life-threatening 40 degrees.
Go for walks in midday heat.
Use ice or extremely cold water to cool pets. (It can constrict the veins and slow the cooling process.)