Paws for Health: Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs & Cats

We are officially in the dog days of summer and that means rising temperatures can be a direct threat to our pets.  In fact, because animals don’t sweat like humans, their whole anatomy is 91078539 10157801589844279 8406965291518525440 Ncompletely different when it comes to cooling down.  Sometimes it’s the heat during the summer months that can result in heatstroke for our furry family members.

Dr. Jen Klabunde with Northwood Animal Hospital in Grand Traverse County says it only takes minutes for an animal to experience serious consequences of heat. That’s why it’s never a good idea to leave your dog in a car during the summer, even if you’re just running a quick errand. It only takes ten minutes for the interior of a parked car to reach 94 degrees on a 75-degree day and after 20 minutes, those temperatures can rise into the hundreds. This is when heatstroke can set in and ultimately be fatal.

Dr. Klabunde recommends leaving dogs at home if you’re going on a boat and temperatures are peaking near 80 degrees. She says our pets are usually safer at home with even a fan or the air conditioning going to keep them comfortable and safe.

She does recommend creative ways to keep cats and dogs cool too like adding ice cubes to their water or cutting up treats like watermelon chunks for the dogs. This keeps the animals entertained and at ease while their body temperatures are able to regulate during those sweltering days.

For more information from Dr. Jen Klabunde about keeping your pets safe and cool this summer or to contact Northwood Animal Hospital click here.

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