Bermuda summers come with long sunny days spent eating watermelon and leaping in and out of the ocean. As the kites go up for Easter, and May 24th passes, temperatures rise as much as our excitement levels do in anticipation of Cup Match raft ups. However, it’s important to remember the effects the summer heat has on your pets.

Pets who live in hot climates run the risk of getting heatstroke when their body temperatures become dangerously elevated. This may happen if, for example, a dog is left in one spot outside with no shade, if animals have no access to water, or if they are left in a hot car.

Heat is one of the biggest threats to pets in the summer, and even normal activities for an obese pet can prove fatal in high temperatures. In addition, animals can quickly become overexerted when playing and succumb to heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion occurs in dogs when their body temperature is between 103 and 106 degrees, above which your dog is at risk for heatstroke. The signs of heatstroke to watch out for in your dog include:

• Heavy panting
• Excessive thirst
• Vomiting
• Very red tongue and gums
• Weakness, collapse
• Increased pulse
• Seizures
• Unconsciousness

If your pet does become overheated, it’s important to bring their body temperature down as soon as possible. This means taking them into a cooler area, with air conditioning or a fan.

If your dog is conscious, encourage them to swim in a body of water. If this is not possible, use wet cloths on the dog’s neck and under the armpits to cool your pet down. Encourage your dog to drink if possible.

Finally, you should take your dog to the vet so that he can be revived, and treated for heatstroke and dehydration.