If you’re feeling the heat, you can bet your pets are, too. As the temperature rises, your furry friend might be struggling to keep cool. The risks of heatstroke and dehydration are just as real for your pets as they are for you. In fact, Yui Shapard, BVM&S, MRCVS, an associate veterinarian for IndeVets in New York City, says dogs and cats are actually more vulnerable to heat than humans, mainly because of how differently the human body regulates its internal temperature.
Unlike humans, pets don’t have sweat glands, so they’re not able to keep cool in the heat as efficiently. “Most breeds are covered in fur which further worsens their ability to remain cool,” says Dr. Shapard. “They’re also lower to the ground and more vulnerable to increased temperature.”
Combined, all these factors can make them more susceptible to heatstroke. “We tend to forget that unlike humans, animals cannot tell us when they’re not feeling well. By the time we notice they are not doing well, they are already in a dangerous territory and immediate intervention is essential to save their lives.”