Which heat-related conditions do you treat most frequently in your practice?
The most common conditions I treat are blistered paw pads, heat stroke and trouble breathing. Pets with existing medical conditions are particularly at-risk in warm weather. For all pets, walking on asphalt during the hottest part of the day can blister the paw pads and make it too painful to walk.
What’s the number one thing pet parents should be aware of on a hot day?
Never leave your pet unattended in the car! They can become anxious and overheat very quickly and the situation can easily turn deadly – especially for breeds with flat heads and short muzzles.
Can pets get heat rashes or sunburn?
Yes! Pets that are hairless or have lighter coats can get sunburn because they lack a protective layer for their skin. Areas prone to sunburn include the bridge of the nose and the ears. Heat rashes commonly occur when the skin becomes infected and rubs together in areas like the armpits or groin.
How do you keep your own pets cool during the dog days of summer?
I leave a large bowl of fresh water outside at all times so my pets always have a drink. I make sure there is a shaded area so that they can lie down out of the sun. I also bring water on walks and limit walking times to dusk and dawn when it is a little cooler without the direct sunlight.
What’s your favorite hot weather treat or activity to share with your pets?
When the weather gets hot, I set up a sprinkler in the yard or a mister on my patio. This allows my pets to run through the water and keep themselves cool, and they love it! I like it because it also keeps me cool while I’m outside supervising their activity.
Jennifer Maniet is Petplan’s newest Staff Veterinarian. Look for more tips and tricks from Jennifer on the blog and in fetch! magazine.