Summer can be a great time of the year to spend the day with your four-legged furry friend at the park, the beach, or just hanging around the backyard. It may seem like the perfect time for your dog to get plenty of exercise, but it can also be a dangerous time as well. Your pet can get tired and overheat quickly in the hot weather and high humidity, which can lead to heatstroke.
Heatstroke occurs when normal body mechanisms cannot keep the body's temperature in a safe range. Animals do not have efficient cooling systems (unlike human bodies, which perspire as a form of cooling) and get overheated easily. A dog with moderate heat stroke (body temperature from 104º to 106ºF) can recover within an hour if given prompt first aid and veterinary care (normal body temperature is 100-102.5°F).
Severe heat stroke (body temperature over 106ºF) can be deadly and immediate veterinary assistance is needed. If you think your pet is having heat exhaustion here are some signs to look for:
❖ Heavy panting, hyperventilation (deep breathing)
❖ Increased salvation, eventual drying of gums
❖ Diarrhea, sometimes bleeding
❖ Anxiety, barking, whining
❖ Weakness, confusion
If you see your pet is exhibiting these signs you should bring them into the shade, make sure they have plenty of drinking water. Soak a towel and cover them or pour cool water on their chest, armpits, and neck (do not use ice cold water, pouring ice cold water on a pet that is overheated can constrict the blood vessels). The best treatment for heat exhaustion is prevention.
Sadly, every year dogs suffer or die when left unattended in hot parked cars. Even if you leave your windows cracked your car can turn into an oven fast! On a 75-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 and up to 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
If the weather feels warm to you, it’s even hotter for your pet who has to wear a fur coat. Leave your pet at home in a well-ventilated area with plenty of water. If you want to take your dog on a drive make sure you grab what you need before you depart. Leaving a pet in your vehicle while you run into the store can be deadly.
Even on days that don't seem that warm, it might come as a surprise to even the most educated pet owners that the very pavement beneath your dog's paws could be sizzling hot. And hot pavement can have gruesome and painful consequences. Walking your dog on grass at the park is the safest for your dog, and don’t forget water!!!
A good tip to check if the sidewalk is too hot for your walk with your furry friend is to put the back of your hand on the pavement for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you then it is too hot for your pet, wait till it cools down, then go for your walk. You can also purchase booties to protect your pet’s paws. We hope this helps you have safe fun summer with
We hope this helps you have a safe, fun time with your pets this summer. If you have any question please don’t hesitate to call and speak with a staff member for more safety tips!