We as humans have the luxury of taking off our winter clothes during the summer. As we all know dogs and cats don't have that luxury of shedding but s much of their fur, however their fur is design to keep them cool during the summer and warm during winter. According to James H Jones, an expert in comparative animal exercise physiology and thermoregulation at University of California at Davis dogs and cats keep a consistent temperature of 101 to 102 degrees.
Jones goes on to explain that dogs and cats can't sweat like us humans although it was once believed that they sweat through their paws which prove to be false. This is how our cats and dogs release can heat conduction transfers excess internal heat when they contact objects cooler than themselves for example they love to lay on cool tile floor. Our pets enjoy cool air or water just like humans during a heat wave. When a dog or cat pants this is their way of releasing stored body heat. Animal fur acts as a thermal regulator to slow down the process of heat absorption. When our pets shed in the hot weather this allow their coats to be ready to protect them from the heat instead of warmth during winter months.
This is why it could be a big mistake to have a vet shave or dramatically trim the coat your pet during the summer months. While it may seem to us the right thing to do to help our pets stay cool during summer it have just the opposite effect by making out pets hotter in the sun. Shaving during the summer months can also contribute to dehydration says Jones. Keep in mind that our pets need to be protected against sunburn and insect bites as well. Despite our pets natural mechanisms, the long hot days of the summer can overwhelm them. Here is a list of don't do's.
Don't dramatically shave your pet's fur
Don't run or walk your pet to long in the heat
Don't exercise while with your pets
Never over feed your pets
Exercise for long periods of time can cause your dog to collapse. EIC is a genetically based syndrome associated with high temperatures and humidity. This mutation happens to 5 to 10 percent of dogs of certain breeds, like Labrador retrievers. The first sign of EIC is wobbliness in the rear legs that can cause temporary paralyzed. However they can recover in about an hour if stopped in time if not your pet could die.
Breeds of dogs that have the most difficulty in the heat are Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Akitas and Chow chows that have coats built for cold weather, and breeds with a pushed-in snout because that will prevent efficient panting and cooling for example bulldogs and Boston terriers, and Himalayan as well as Persian cats. Because cats don't go out much most of their heat problems happen when they've been left in a house or car that is too warm.
Overweight pets will have problems in the heat.
It doesn't matter the breed dog or cat if you feed your pets to much the heat will cause trouble for them. Obesity will make your pet heat sensitive because their weight will interferes with thermoregulation specifically, being able to radiate heat away from their body sufficient to cool down, according to Allison Sande, an emergency and critical care veterinarian with VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg.
Signs your pet is in trouble.
There are signs to look for if you think your pet could be in trouble.
Heat-induced distress will cause hyperventilation, drooling, and may show signs of fear.
If the body temperature rises above 106 degrees there may be brain, tissue, and organ swelling with abnormal blood clotting that can damage the kidney's, heart, lungs, and brain. Animals that experience this can collapse and go into a coma, at which point seizures and respiratory arrest can happen.
These problems and escalate very fast so let's take good care of our pets, after all they are a part of the family also so we should love and take care of them as such.