Keeping Pets Safe In the Summer :: Tampa Bay, Florida

July 18, 2013

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Dogs and Kids love the dog days of summer but the heat can be dangerous.  Tampa Bay, Florida

It is hot-hot-HOT outside this summer!  If you’ve been watching the news lately, you know that many areas of the country are being hit with triple-digit temperatures.  According to NBC Nightly News, this is traditionally the hottest week of the year and the weather map clearly shows that.  Today, forty-seven states are expected to hit temperatures of 90 – or above.  Many cities have registered temperatures 5-10 degrees above average.  In fact, New York City could see the longest stretch of 90 plus degree temperatures in 11 years.  WOW.

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 following 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 degree

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.


You could literally save your pet’s life by remembering these tips and being attentive to his/her behavior during these H-O-T summer days!


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