The summer has just begun and already temperatures around the country are soaring. Preparing for the summer heat is as important as preparing for the cold. ~ HfH
From: The Horse
Summer heat can be dangerous for horses, resulting in dehydration, lethargy, and general malaise. Severe heat stress can cause diarrhea, or even colic. But owners can take important steps to keep horses safe and comfortable during the hot days ahead.
In a release issued June 19, Janet Johnston, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVS, an emergency critical care veterinarian at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, suggested the following ten tips to keep your horse comfortable and safe in the summer heat.
1. Choose cooler turnout times. If your horse has a stall but is turned out for part of the day, provide turnout during the cooler hours. Overnight is ideal, but if that’s not possible, turnout as early as possible during the day.
2. Provide shade. If your horse lives outdoors or if he must be outside during the day, provide relief from the sun. A run-in shed is best. Trees are a source of shade, but as the sun moves, so will the shade; ensure that, regardless of the time of day, the trees are offering shade.
3. Move the air. Fans are a great way to help keep the air moving in the barn, but use them wisely. Always ensure that your horse can’t get a hold of cords and plugs.
4. Mist your horse. If you are fortunate enough to have a misting system for your horse, use it. As moisture is absorbed from your horse’s skin, it will take away some of the heat. Frequent mistings are far more effective than a single dousing with a hose.