Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat :: Orlando, FL
May 24, 2016
Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat
Summer is coming. It is already hot-Hot-HOT outside. The heat is downright dangerous for humans but what about our pets? Unfortunately, it can be deadly for our precious four-legged friends. Cats and dogs lack sweat glands, which help humans cool down by sweating. While dogs might be hot while they play outside, they often keep playing, even as they experience heat stroke. And the advanced stages of heat stroke cause organ failure, brain damage and sadly, even death.
To protect your favorite friends, take the advice from the American Red Cross.
- Never, ever, EVER leave your pet in the car, even for a few minutes. The interior temperature of a car, even with the windows slightly lowered, can quickly and easily reach 120 degrees.
- Don’t take your pets out during the mid-day heat (typically from 10 am until 4 pm) for any kind of exercise, even a short walk. Reserve early mornings and late evenings for exercise and walks.
- Keep your pet hydrated. Keep bowls of water available and check them often to ensure they are full. Dogs tend to drink more during the hot weather, so hydration is crucial.
- Recognize the signs of heat stroke – heavy panting, dark red tongue and/or gums, rapid heartbeat, clumsy walking, bloody diarrhea, vomiting or seizures. If a dog is lying down but is restless, that might also indicate heat stroke.
- If you suspect your precious pet is having a heat stroke, offer him (or her) water to drink and use a water hose to wet him down. You can also apply wet towels to paws and neck areas. Don’t use ice water – it can be dangerous. Get to your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
- Dogs have sensitive foot pads, so walking them on the hot pavement is not a good idea. Even if you walk your dog in the evening, the pavement has soaked up the heat all day long, so encourage your dog to walk on the grass if possible.
- Dogs can get sunburns too. If you must be out with your dog in the middle of the day, consider using sunscreen – formulated for pets or babies. Be sure to cover the tips of their ears, their back and the area around their mouths.
- Some dogs are afraid of fireworks and the Memorial Day and 4th of July celebrations can make them anxious. Try using a de-stress tablet and a thunder-shirt, both available at retailers, to make them less anxious.
- Parasites can cause serious harm to your pets. Be sure to have them on medication for fleas and ticks. Talk to your Veterinarian about appropriate steps to take.
- Most dogs love to swim but the chemicals in your pool can irritate your dog’s skin and stomach. To avoid issues, rinse your dog after swimming and be sure they drink lots of clean, fresh water.
- Pollen counts are up and many dogs (and cats) suffer from allergies. Talk to your Vet about medications that could help curb symptoms. You may also want to consider artificial grass for your lawn, to help alleviate allergy issues for your pooch.
You could save your pet’s life by remembering these tips and being attentive to his/her behavior during these H-O-T summer days!
Check out this Today Show video, showing some of the latest gadgets for pets.