Summertime is a time of fun and play for pets and humans. It’s also a time to exercise some care in terms of caution as the temperature rises. In addition, high humidity makes it feel a lot warmer than the temperature indicated on the thermometer. The Temperature-Humidity Index (usually called the Heat Index) indicates the degree of discomfort by the combination of temperature and humidity in warm weather. For example, a Heat Index of 105° F can be reached when the temperature is only 90° F and the relative humidity is 70 percent. Heat related illnesses that can occur under a high Heat Index include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, etc.
Pets at greatest risk of heat-related illnesses include:
- Geriatric pets
- Overweight pets
- Pets under physical exertion
- Unwell pets
- Brachycephalic pets
- Pets with fever, heart disease, dehydration or poor circulation
- Pets receiving certain medications
- Be cognizant of the Heat Index and take special precautions above an index of 72
- Provide plenty of water, a shaded spot outdoors, and a cool, well ventilated area indoors
- Vary exercise according to conditions and limit it to the cool part of the day –morning and evening
- Do not leave your pet in the car (even with windows “cracked” at the top)
- Be especially vigilant about vet care – heartworm, flea and tick, etc.
Our pets rely on us for fun but also for protection.
-Dr. Steve Tsengas, President and CEO