Summer is almost always cruel in the Philippines, but even more so for your furry friends. Unlike their hoomans, cats and dogs keep their body temp stable through respiration–that’s a lot of panting! Minimally, they release heat through their paws, but they can’t sweat it out like people do. What’s worse is that they can’t really say when the heat is too much for them. With a few weeks left to go of the season of sun, keep your pets safe with these tips:

1. If you regularly take your dog out for a walk, keep it at a minimum during this season, and either early in the morning at dawn or entering into the evening at dusk, when it’s cooler. Dogs can drop like flies from heatstroke on a hot, humid summer day, so be extra mindful when you take your four-legged pal around. What may seem as bearable temperature for us may be deadly to them. Offer them a liberal amount of water as soon as you get back or better yet, pack a bowl and bottle and hydrate them throughout their walk.

2. Keep a big bowl of water nearby. Make sure that water is always accessible and in abundance, especially if your pet will be left alone the whole day. In extremely hot weather, pets will gulp down their liquids quicker than normal, so make sure they have more than the usual amount you leave for them during cooler months.

3. If you keep your pets in a cage or restrained on a leash, make sure that the cage is situated where the sun won’t reach it at any given time of the day. Your pet won’t be able to seek refuge from sunlight when confined in a small space. The same goes for leashed furpals. Keep the leash long enough so that pets can seek comfort from the sun. Leave your canine or feline in a well-ventilated place. He may be safe from the heat of the sun, but a hot and stuffy room could be detrimental to his health just as much.

4. Consider getting your pet’s fur thinned during hotter months. Opt for a summer cut to keep your furball as cool as a cucumber.

5. Never ever leave your furry friend in a vehicle as temperatures in cars rise quickly even with the windows fully rolled down. Either bring the four-legged family member or bring him down with you or skip the trip altogether.

6. Some pawrents like to take their furbabies to the beach with them for some R&R. Make sure there’s a nearby shade for them to run to for comfort from the sun. Bring along life vests especially designed for animals and have your pets wear them at all times. The lure of the cool sea might entice your dog to run straight for the ocean and who knows how strong the current will be.

7. Be on the lookout for signs of heat distress. Muddy pink gums, panting, frothing, increased heart rate, disorientation, drooling, vomiting and an extremely warm body are just some of the signs. Get your pet under the shade right away and into a cool place. Place a cool towel all over his body, especially under the armpits and on the groin area or submerge your pet in cool water, but never put ice on them as this may hamper the body’s natural ability to fight off the heat. Dogs will run and play right through the heat if it means spending more time with you, so take on the role of responsible pawrent and err on the side of caution, as heatstroke can easily lead to brain damage and tragically, death. Once symptoms manifest, even if your pet seems better, bring him to the vet for proper testing.

PHOTO: Pixabay

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