This is because cats and dogs primarily reduce body heat through their respiratory tract (lungs, trachea and nasal passages) by panting. So they cool themselves less efficiently than we humans who can sweat through our skin. Pets can lose some heat through their paw pads and skin, but not enough – especially with all that fur helping to keep the heat in.
These pets are particularly at risk for heat exposure:
- Older pets (over the age of 10)
- Younger pets (under 6 months)
- Overweight (more motivation for that diet!)
- Not conditioned for exercise
- Not used to prolonged exposure to the outdoors
- Shorter muzzles/snouts (such as boxers, bulldogs, pugs, Himalayan & Persian cats)
If any of these describe your pet, be sure to watch for these signs of heat exhaustion and know how to treat them. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from a heatstroke, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
Note: Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice.