Take Care, Stay Aware: Heat Safety and Pets
Like any extreme or inclement weather, summer poses unique risks to our pets. The heat, UV index, scalding pavement, and high humidity will take a toll on anyone, pets and humans alike. However, warm weather safety is a must for our fur-bearing friends since temperatures can easily create a heat stroke emergency without proper precautions.
That’s why the team at New Haven Pet Hospital has compiled some great tips for summer heat safety and pets.
Danger 911: Heat Stroke in Pets
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common reasons for trips to the emergency clinic during the summer. Heat stroke can be fatal to a pet – sometimes within minutes – if help isn’t sought immediately. So, what exactly is heat stroke?
Heat stroke is basically overheating of the body and the eventual breakdown of the body’s defenses against rising internal temperatures. Pets are particularly sensitive to warm weather because they do not sweat like humans do. Instead, they “sweat” through panting and by releasing moisture through their paw pads. This provides only minimal defense against rising temperatures.
Signs that your pet may have heat exhaustion or heat stroke include:
- Excessive panting
- Increased heart rate
- Pale gums
- Increased salivation
Heat stress can quickly turn into an emergency, so cool your pet down immediately if you notice any of these signs. Take them indoors, and place wet, cool (but not cold) towels on their body. Call us right away.
Closed Cars are Killers
Over the years, thousands of pets have been killed because they were left in hot cars. Fortunately, there’s much more awareness around the issue these days, but there’s still some confusion out there. The bottom line is that it’s NEVER okay for your pet to be left in the car, even if the windows are open. Temperatures inside can still exceed outdoor temperatures, and pets should not be left unattended in general on very warm days.
What about on cool days? Can pets stay in the car then? You might be surprised to learn that temperatures above 72 degrees can actually result in an indoor car temperature of 116 degrees.
Simply put, don’t risk your pet’s life. Take them home if you must leave them unattended.
Heat Safety and Pets: Protect Your Pet!
What are some other ways you can keep your furry friend safe from the heat this summer? We’re glad you asked! Here are some useful tips:
When it’s above 90 degrees, bring your pet indoors. Offer fans or air conditioning.
- Exercise your pet in the early part of the day or in the evening.
- Make sure you check surface temperatures, as paws can easily be scalded. Use booties for added protection.
- Always bring water and a collapsible or non-breakable bowl wherever you go – including on car rides.
- Seek shade and take frequent rest breaks when outdoors and on long walks.
Want more tips on heat safety and pets? We’re always here for you! Please give us a call.
For our local animals friends, we’re hosting a fundraiser on June 24th for our local police department. This is to help cover the cost of an important device for their K-9 units to ensure these courageous dogs are not at risk of overheating in the patrol units. Please consider supporting such a great cause!