Summer’s almost here, and with it will come rising temps that can feel downright scorching. People are obviously not the only ones that will feel the heat. Pets and wildlife will be just as uncomfortable. While there’s nothing we can do for woodland creatures, we can give our pets a helping hand when it comes to reducing their body temperature when it starts to sizzle outside. That means making sure they have plenty of water and shade and maybe even a kiddie pool for pups, if they spend a lot of time outside. Besides that, consider a new cooling vest or harness for your favorite canine.
Canine Cooling Vests
Leaving your dog outside during the summer months while you’re at work can be dicey. Some people have little to no choice in the matter, so it’s best to take precautions so they don’t overheat. There are some great cooling vests on the market right now that can go a long ways towards keeping their body temperature within a normal range. Top Paw has at least two models to choose from. Their Outdoor Cooling Vest uses evaporative cooling with polymer crystals. It’s lightweight and features a bright neon color. The brand’s other cooling vest is water activated and intended for short-term use under close supervision. Both are available exclusively at PetSmart.
Canine Cooling Harnesses
Kumfy Tailz Warming & Cooling Harnesses are nylon and breathable mesh dog harnesses fitted with a nontoxic, re-usable Kumfy Pax gel pack system for regulating your dog’s temperature, whether it’s cold or hot outside. It’s veterinarian designed to work with a dog's natural physiology to help eliminate the chances of both hypothermia and heatstroke, making it more than just a dog harness. The cooling gel side fits snugly across your dog’s chest and upper belly, so it supposedly can’t slip and turn itself around or come off. It comes in four colors, and you can find it on Amazon or at PetSmart.
Cooling Gel Pads for Dogs
Cooling gel pads or mats can be lifesavers when traveling with pets that easily overheat, like brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, boxers and any of the bulldogs that require cooler environments in order to thrive. Even with AC it’s important to cool your car down first before loading them up and driving off. Provide a little extra comfort by placing one of these mats beneath them during the ride. The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad cools on contact without water or refrigeration. The pressure-activated gel begins cooling when your dog lies down. They cool for up to 3 hours and recharge automatically after 15-20 minutes of non-use. They’re also available on both Amazon and through PetSmart.
Heatstroke in Pets
It’s been said that if it’s hot enough to sweat, it’s hot enough for your pet to suffer from heatstroke. As mentioned above, certain breeds are prone to heat-related complications, but did you know that they can actually die in under an hour if left untreated? Additionally, puppies, older pets and those that are overweight are more susceptible to it as well. Know the signs of heatstroke. If you witness any of the following behavior, you need to be concerned:
• Rapid panting
• Wide or rolling eyes
• Excessive salivating
• Bright red gums
• Loss of mobility (staggering, stumbling)
Treating Heatstroke in Pets
If this happens, it’s important that you lower their body temperature gradually with room-temperature water, making sure it gets past their fur and down onto the skin. Lay them on their side while applying it and slowly increase the coolness of it, but don’t start with cold water. Contact your vet and let them know what’s going on and take the animal there immediately. This way they’ll have a heads up that you’re on your way and they can prepare for your arrival. If you take the necessary precautions in advance, hopefully you and your pet won’t have to go through this. Be safe this summer and avoid pet emergencies with a little preparedness.