Pet Care During Extreme Heat
AVIODING HEAT- RELATED ILLNESS WITH PETS
- Avoid Unnecessary Car Trips – NEVER leave an animal in a parked car in hot weather- even for a moment! Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach deadly heights in just a few minutes, even with the windows open. While driving, if there is no air conditioning your pet can become overwhelmed even when the windows are open.
- Bring Outdoor Pets In – Whether you have an outdoor dog or cat you should locate them and bring them inside during extreme heat (temperatures over 90 degrees). If your home does not have air conditioning, allow your pet to stay in the coolest spot in the house, such as a basement.
- Adequate Shade And Water – If you cannot bring your pet indoors make sure they are secured in an area with a shelter that offers shade to cool down, and make certain they have access to plenty of cool, clean water that you continually check and keep filled. Dogs can get sunburned too! Protect hairless and light-coated dogs with sunscreen when your dog will be outside in the sun for an extended period of time.
- Walk Pets In The Early Morning or Evening – If at all possible; change your walking schedule to an early morning or twilight time so that your pet is not stressed from the exercise or hot pavement and carry a thermos filled with fresh, cool water.
- Watch For Signs of Heat Stress or Stroke – Excessive panting, excessive drooling, increased heart rate, trouble breathing, trembling, pacing, can be signs of heat stress. Symptoms may progress to include a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, deep red tongue, disorientation, collapse or loss of consciousness, seizure, or respiratory arrest and are signs your pet may be suffering a life-threatening heat stroke!
- Take Special Care with High-Risk Pet Populations- Pets that are elderly, overweight, have heavier and darker coats, and pets with short muzzles such as English Bulldogs or Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stress and stroke. Also pets that are ill or have chronic conditions are at increased risk as well. Be extra sensitive to the needs of high-risk animals.
If your pet is showing signs of heat stress, immediately get the pet an air-conditioned area and offer plenty of water. If the symptoms escalate, contact your veterinarian immediately!