Why dogs need more help than cats in extreme heat

Emilia Mason knows her dogs. She manages the Pampered Paws Inn in Hammonds Plains, N.S., which sees 20 to 30 dogs dropped off every day while their owners head to work.

“They really just want to be with us, so if we’re in the sun, they want to be in the sun,” Mason explains to The Weather Network.

She says keeping the dogs cool during the summer months is her number-one priority. Signs of heat stroke can be heavy panting, really red gums and tongues, vomiting, diarrhea, pacing, and the fact that they'd rather stay with humans longer than try to keep themselves out of the sun.

“The number one thing is just trying to give them lots of shade and breaks from the sun,” says Mason.

Kiddie pools should have water high enough to cover their paws but not their entire bodies.

She also says to use a mister instead of a hose because you don’t want them to get soaked.

“If they get completely wet and cold, they’ll think that they’re cool and start to run around a lot more, which will make them get really hot; they could hyperventilate, and it could lead to heat stroke,” explained Mason.

Frozen treats like watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber are good ways to keep them refreshed.

“Lick mats with pumpkin or peanut butter are also a good option,” she says.

A frozen lick mat has ridges to allow you to put purees or any type of treat your pup likes to be refreshed and slow them down a little.

As for cats, Mason says indoor cats are more independent without the same desire to go outside when their person leaves, and they’re pretty good at regulating their own temperatures.

“They’ll go up high, go into cooler areas, under beds and closets, or they’ll find your air conditioner vent, and they’ll take a nice nap on it.”

For dogs who’ll follow you anywhere, keeping them in the shade is a must on a hot, sunny day.