Minou was asking how to keep Frenchy cool and said it would be good to have some general info (I’m late to the game as the heat is supposed to be breaking in the midwest but I think it’s moving on to the East coast).
Most animals get rid of their excess heat through panting. They have very limited abilities for evaporative cooling (i.e. sweating and then having the sweat evaporate from the skin with the body heat. They can do it through their paws a bit)
Make sure they have:
- plenty of water (you can add some ice cubes or even freeze a bowl in addition to their other bowl to keep the water cool and they can lick the frozen water)
- they may like to sit in front of a fan (my coworker has fans that point into her horses’ stables) or lie on the cool tile floor. The skin on the abdomen is thinner and the heat can escape the larger blood vessels in the inguinal (i.e. groin) and axillary (i.e. armpit) areas easier. The same holds true for people - putting cold rags/ice on the neck (jugular vein), wrists will let the heat escape from the larger vessels.
- You can also try putting a cool towel on their paws (if they’ll let you)
- If they seem like they are showing distress and signs of heat stroke (excessive panting, tacky gums, weakness, dizziness, vomiting) - you can wet their fur with cool water (not ice cold) and get them to the veterinarian ASAP so they can be treated with IV fluids, etc.
- Obviously, do not let them sit in the car (dogs typically) - even with the windows opened or cracked it will become an oven and they’ll likely die.
Here is a link to some tips from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine
Hikergirl is tumblr’s celebrity vet and happy pet expert! This is great advice and I am so glad she took the time to post it for us.