Heat stroke in dogs and cats: four symptoms are warning signs

The heat in Germany also affects dogs and cats. Pet owners should react to certain symptoms that could indicate heatstroke.

Kassel – Temperatures are rising. This is not only a problem for us humans, but also for our four-legged friends. Dogs and cats need special protection in the summer heat.

Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs Symptoms of heatstroke in cats
panting They pant while lying on their stomachs
worry Restless walking up and down
Pale mucous membranes
shallow breathing
Slowed reactions and balance problems
Vomit
tremors and eventually fainting

Unlike us humans, dogs and cats only have a few sweat glands – in dogs they are only found in the area of ​​the balls of the feet. Therefore, they cannot regulate their body temperature as much as we can and especially not sufficiently through sweating.

Dogs pant to cool themselves from the resulting airflow. If the panting becomes stronger and the animal is restless, this may already be the first sign of overheating – also in cats (more service news on RUHR24).

Protect animals from the heat: Dogs and cats can also suffer from heatstroke

According to the Animal Welfare Association, pet owners should keep a particularly close eye on their furry friends during the current heat wave in Germany so they can spot any changes in behavior and react quickly if needed. To avoid heatstroke in dogs and cats at all, a few things should be observed, reports hna.de.

For example, walks should not be done under the hot midday or afternoon sun, but in the morning and evening hours when it is a little cooler. Before the dog steps on the asphalt, you can check the temperature with the palm of your hand so that the four-legged friend does not burn his feet.

Dogs and cats suffer from heat just like humans.

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It’s also important to make sure the animal doesn’t get sunburned – so don’t cut it too close and apply sunscreen to sensitive areas like the tip of the nose and ears. Adequate drinking water throughout the day and a cool place are also essential to protect dogs from the heat.

The same goes for cats. It is especially important for them to make sure they drink enough, because: as Astrid Behr from the Federal Veterinary Association told the publishing network Germany (RND), cats barely show signs of impending dehydration. In addition, they tend to drink very little.

Dogs and cats in summer: do dogs and cats eat less when it’s hot?

According to Behr, if dogs and cats eat less in the summer, that’s not immediately a cause for concern. Like us humans, appetite decreases due to lower energy consumption.

The main thing is that the four-legged friends get enough fluid. There are a few tricks to doing this. For example, you can mix some water into their regular food, create an animal fountain, or even serve ice cream for dogs and cats. There are recipes for this online.

Video: Make your own dog ice cream easily

Very important: Never leave animals in the car when it is hot. The animal protection organization PETA warns against this. This can quickly end fatally for four-legged friends.

Heatwave in Germany: This is how heatstroke manifests itself in dogs and cats

In the worst case, any preventive measure comes too late and the animals have already suffered heatstroke. In dogs, overheating is manifested by heavy panting and restlessness.

Cats will also pant while lying on their stomachs or pace if they overheat. Pale mucous membranes, shallow breathing, slowed reactions, vomiting, balance disturbances, tremors and finally loss of consciousness are also signs of heatstroke in dogs, according to the Animal Welfare Organization.

According to Peta, overheated animals should be immediately placed in the shade, cooled with slightly cool water and provided with drinking water that is not too cold. In this case, the examination by the veterinarian is also necessary.

Heatwave in Germany: How to protect rabbits from the heat

Other pets also need special protection in extreme heat. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs living in outdoor facilities also need fresh water regularly, as it evaporates quickly. They should also have the option of a shady spot.

If it’s particularly hot, a wet towel can also be placed over the wrap, RND says. With small animals living in cages indoors, it’s important not to have them standing in a draft or they can get sick.

You should also protect yourself in the intense heat. For example, to cool the apartment, there are some tips. And anyone who suffers from swollen feet in the summer should adjust their diet.

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