I was thrilled to see Refined Feline’s lovely article for Summer Tips For Cats! (Though this goes for your canine buddies as well, or any animals in your care. You never know when the day will come that you are in a position to help, so having an overarching idea is always a great idea.
I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge heat fan! Sometimes I think people assume every animal is going to do a-ok in extreme temperatures – they are better at adapting that human beings after all!
Well, they won’t whine when the air conditioner isn’t working necessarily (which I, myself, was doing recently – very immature on my part!)…and they won’t say “I feel dizzy and parched”...
B U T, while they CAN act more stoic than humans (and often do – I can think of several felines off the bat!)…it doesn’t mean they are always feeling peachy and comfortable...or that they can’t run into trouble.
It’s important for us to be mindful of water levels, for example, or any unusual behaviors. These may include the more obvious, such as vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, breathing changes, and dizziness…
But also look for changes in gum or tongue color (pink is healthy, red or pale is NOT) and any indication of feeling weak. Such symptoms could be indicative of heatstroke and you want to address it ASAP. The article above has more details about procedures if you suspect this.
Hydration is vital – yes, even with indoor pets, and especially with the older ones. Make sure bowls are filled and throughout your home (I’m happy the link above made a point to say eliminate BAD water sources. PLEASE leave the toilet seat down (or shut the door) – chemicals are extremely dangerous and should not be ingested, forget all the other awful things they could get from it.)
Fleas and ticks may be more of an issue during this time as well for outdoor pets – make sure your flea control is up to date, and that you thoroughly check your “kids” for any ticks or tick bites.
And, whatever you do, never, EVER leave an animal in a car. Even with windows cracked open, you could have well over 115 degrees…even when outside is 20 to 30 degrees cooler. If you SEE this happen, call help – a quick trip for an owner may still be enough time to be fatal for an animal.
Happy, healthy pets are the goal – they ARE family, and their safety is just as important!