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Caring for animals when temperatures rise

Cats and dogs cannot respond to heat in the same way that humans do. We have sweat glands all over our bodies that help us regulate our temperature, but dogs and cats only have a few in their feet and around their noses. Many animals rely on panting and external cooling to lose heat. 

All animals are susceptible to heatstroke so owners need to make sure that they take active steps to prevent it. However, some other reported predisposing factors can include:

  • Obesity
  • Brachycephalic anatomy (flat-faced breeds) such as Pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Persian and Himalayan cats, among others
  • Breathing difficulties/respiratory disease – laryngeal paralysis, collapsing trachea
  • Heart problems/Cardiovascular disease
  • Neurological disease
  • Age extremes (young or old)
  • Thick/long hair coat – e.g. long haired breeds
  • Excessive exercise
  • Dehydration

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