Monday, August 16, 2010

Keep your Pets Cool

Summertime is here, and according to Eric and Barbie at WLBT, it's going to be hot for a while longer!  When we get hot, we can get a cool drink, go inside, or set the thermostat a little cooler.  Our dogs and cats can't do that, so it’s up to us to be sure they don’t overheat.
With the dog days of summer before us, pet owners should beware of the dangers of heatstroke in pets.
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that results when pets cannot adequately rid themselves of excess body heat. Pets rely on panting to cool down. Although panting is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas with high humidity or low ventilation. The intake of cool, fresh water improves the cooling effects of panting.

Dogs with pug noses are more likely to develop heatstroke because their small nasal passages make it difficult to circulate sufficient air for cooling. Overweight dogs, whose extra layers of fat act as insulation, are also prone to overheating. Age can also be a factor in an animal’s tendency to overheat. Very young pets and elderly pets are more likely to develop heatstroke.

For information on the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars, or in other potentially hazardous situations, see