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How to Keep Pets Safe During a Heat Wave

How to Keep Pets Safe During a Heat Wave

Unlike humans, pets do not have the ability to cool their bodies in the way that humans do. Dogs use their respiratory tract to lose heat, and sweat less on their hair covered bodies. This is the reason that cats and dogs pant when they are hot. Some heat is also lost through their paw pads. When heat gets trapped inside of their bodies, they can then experience hyperthermia – this is when the core body temperature becomes dangerously elevated.

What Temperature Is Too Hot?

A normal body temperature for cats and dogs is just a bit higher than it is for humans, ranging from about 100 degrees to 102.5 degrees. Various degrees of activity will increase this temperature. Once it is raised to 106 degrees, heat stroke can occur and will cause many problems, including death.

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Protecting Your Pet’s Skin

Though not widely known, skin cancer is very common in both cats and dogs. Their fur does provide some protection from the sun, but you should also apply a sunblock made for pets every 3 to 4 hours on their parts that are not fully covered by hair like their bellies and around their ears.

It may seem logical to cut your pet’s hair in the summer, but you must resist. When their hair is brushed out and not matted, it actually provides air circulation for them to regulate their body temperature. If your pet does end up getting burned somehow, you can soothe it by applying a thin layer of aloe vera on the area two times a day.

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Keeping Your Pet Cool

Make sure that you save walks with your dog for the times that are not the hottest. This means avoiding times when the day usually has the highest temperatures and humidity. Do note that dogs like bulldogs that have short snouts are not able to pant sufficiently in weather that is humid, thanks to their narrow windpipes and nostrils.

When taking a trip in the car with your pup, never leave them inside of the car alone. Even if the windows are cracked open, the inside temperature of the car can rise by almost 20 degrees in just 7 minutes. Leaving your air conditioner on is important for keeping your pet safe in a car.

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Make sure that when you will be gone for several hours that your home will stay cool for your pet. Turn on the air conditioner if you have one, if not, several fans will do. The general rule is that if it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your pet.

Look Out for Heat Exhaustion

Heat stress is signaled by thick drool, bright red or dry gums, heavy panting, wobbly legs, diarrhea, and vomiting. Do not put your pet in cold water, this can send them into shock! Rather, you should move them to a cool place and place a damp towel on their body. Wet the cloth often and take them to their veterinarian as soon as you can.

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What to Do While Outside

You should look for an area that is mostly shaded for walking or doing other exercise with your dog. Even when you feel fully able to take on the challenge of a lengthy activity, you should always stop and rest frequently – every 15 minutes is the recommendation. Pets that are less physically fit will need more frequent breaks the hotter and more humid it is.

Get an Exam Before Heading Out for Exercise

Ideally, all pets would be kept healthy enough for physical activity all year. Unfortunately, seasonal factors as well as other deterrents may keep them mostly inside for months at a time. Due to this, there may be a loss of fitness and weight gain. Prior to engaging in activities outside in the hotter months, seek an exam for your dog from your vet. Older and less physically-fit dogs may have underlying issues that can be exacerbated by exercise.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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