June 5th, 2016
Excessive Heat Warnings and Pet Safety
The National Weather Service has issued a warning for excessive temperatures for the Willamette Valley, including Eugene. Keep these tips in mind to keep your furry friends safe:
- Leave pets at home when running errands. Leaving your animal in a parked car, even for just a few minutes, can easily cause heat stroke or brain damage. On an 85 degree day, a car’s interior temperature can climb to 104 degrees in 10 minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat stress because they do not sweat in the way that humans do; they release body heat by panting.
- Dogs should not ride in uncovered pickup truck beds. The hot metal truck bed can burn your pet’s paw pads.
- Keep pets inside during the heat of the day; do not leave them outside unattended.
- Make sure pets have access to water bowls full of cool, fresh water.
- When pets are outside, be sure to provide shaded areas for them to rest in and invest in a misting hose or kiddie pool for a cool place for your pets to play.
- Limit or skip on exercise and time at the dog park during the heat of the day.
- Always test the pavement or sand with your hand before setting out (too hot to touch is too hot for your pet), walk early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler, carry water and take frequent breaks in shady spots. If you suspect your pet’s paws have been burned, contact your vet immediately.
Heatstroke symptoms can include: restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, vomiting, and lack of coordination. If your animal is overcome by heat exhaustion, consult your veterinarian right away. If you notice an animal in distress or unresponsive in a parked car, first try and locate the pet’s owner and alert him or her to the animal’s condition. If you cannot find the animal’s owner, call 911.