Be aware of signs that your dog or cat may be experiencing a heatstroke: rapid breathing, bright red tongue, staggering walk, salivating from the mouth and or glassy eyes. Vomitting and diarrhea may occur.
- Treatment for mild heatstroke: get your dog in the shade or cover with a breeze quickly, find a garden hose and hose the dog down making sure the water contacts the skin (especially the belly) and not just running off the fur and once the temperature cools to 103 degrees stop the cooling.
- Make sure cats have a cool place to rest like a cool tile floor, available tub or sink to climb in, cold clay pots or under shade.
- Place your hands in the center of the animal’s back near the shoulder blades and press gently with an ice pack or bag of ice to cool the animal down and prevent or stop a seizure (acupressure point BL18/icing Point).
- Avoid the hottest part of the day – walk your dog before 10:00am or after 6:00pm (10-4 is the hottest time of the day).
- Freeze water bottles overnight and then drop into the animal’s water bowl opened so the ice slowly melts during the day keeping the water in the bowl cooler.
- Don’t forget sunblock on short or lightly colored, fair-haired dogs and dogs with thin coats. Equal parts lavender and peppermint essential oils blended with spring water act as a natural sunblock – one spritz will do! Watch for bumps that don’t go away or flake, this could be a form of a skin cancer. Go to the vet immediately!
- Before going to the park or for a run, wet your dog down with a water hose to keep the body temperature down during the walk.
- Keep a light or pale blue towel with you in case your dog gets overheated. Blue soothes, calms and refreshes.
- For horses, hosing them down is great just squeegee the excess water off otherwise that heats them up more than cools them down.
- Keep your animal at an appropriate weight. Over weight or obese animals have a much harder time in hot weather.
- Moderate exercise is always good, but too much in the summer heat can cause a dog to overheat. Exercise in the evenings.
- Cooleroo beds are great during the summer – they keep the animal off the hot ground and provide a cool place to rest – you can hose the mats down for easy cleaning and an extra refreshing mist.
- If you are outside in the evenings with you dog, try freezing a cool whip tub or bucket with treats frozen inside and then put it in the grass or on a post for your dog to play with and lick while outside with you.
Consider learning more about natural ways to care for your pet at www.thelightfootway.com and look at our available workshops coming up that can help you with choosing your pet’s diet or helping him or her with any emotional issues.
Make holistic animal care a way of life, not a last resort!