Summer Temperatures are on the Rise; how to keep your furry family members safe
Summer temperatures have arrived and are on the rise. This means extra precautions for dogs and cats. Please, follow these tips and guidelines for the wellbeing of your furry family members:
- Leave pets at home when running errands.
- Remember that leaving your animal in a hot, parked car for just a few minutes can cause heat stroke, brain damage, or worse.
- It’s not enough to just have your windows cracked open. On an 85 degree day, a car’s interior temperature can climb to 104 degrees in 10 minutes – even when the windows are slightly open.
- Keep pets inside during the heat of the day. Do not leave them outside unattended.
- If your dogs are alone indoors all day – keep your air conditioning on when it is hot outside. Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat stress because they do not sweat in the way that humans do. They release body heat by panting.
- Make sure pets have access to water bowls full of cool, fresh water both indoors and outdoors.
- When dogs are outside, be sure to provide shaded areas for them.
- Help your pooch cool down. A sprinkler, misting hose or kiddie pool in a shaded area is a great way for dogs to cool off.
- Always test the pavement or ground with your hand. If it is too hot for you to touch, it is too hot for your best friend. There are many brands of dog booties on the market, designed to protect your pup’s delicate paw pads from the harsh elements.
- Don’t let your dog ride in an uncovered pickup truck bed. The hot metal can burn your pup’s paw pads.
- Limit or skip outdoor exercise during the heat of the day. Walk early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler.
- Carry water and take frequent breaks in shady spots.
Heatstroke symptoms can include: restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, and lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, vomiting, and lack of coordination.
To cool your pet down: offer water to drink, get in the shade, cool down the head, feet, chest, and underbelly, with cool (not ice cold) towels or wet your hands. If you have a fan – use that.
Signs of burned pads can include: blisters or redness, pads darker in color than usual, limping, licking or chewing on the feet.
If your animal is overcome by heat exhaustion, has burned paw pads, or is experiencing physical or behavioral distress, dskcontact your veterinarian or 24-hour animal hospital immediately.
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, contact Law enforcement – call 911.