Understanding animal heat exhaustion for safe outings with your pets


WASHINGTON, (WDVM) — Many will be spending more time outdoors with their furry friends as warm weather rolls in, but before outings with your pets, it’s important to understand animal heat exhaustion. 

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, dogs and cats have fewer sweat glands and can’t cool off by sweating as humans do, and because of this, when it’s hot they tend to overheat quickly.

Experts say animals are more susceptible to heatstroke, so if your pet is panting heavily or excessively drooling, get them water and to a cooler location as soon as possible. 

“When its warm outside you should always provide them with plenty of shade and cold water. You also want to make sure that you’re not over exerting your pet with exercise. It’s also important to walk your dogs in the early morning or the late evening hours when it’s less hot outside, that way they stay cool and the paws don’t get burnt by the hot pavement,” said Noel Fridgen, communication manager for The Humane Society.

Other signs of heatstroke in your pet include diarrhea, stumbling, seizures, or vomiting. Heatstroke impacts each animal differently, but according to the American Animal Hospital Association, when your pet overheats, heatstroke progresses quickly.

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