Pet Safety Tips: Heat Wave
Posted on Jun 03, 2016 , 1 comment
As the temperature heats up so does our thirst for outdoor fun. From beach parties to pool parties to after parties, there’s nothing like summer in Los Angeles. Of course, there’s always a heat wave or two to anticipate before summer’s over along with “earthquake season” so we want to make sure you and your pet are ready to deal with the rising temperatures.
We’ve partnered with the American Humane Association’s Red Star® Rescue and Emergency Service for Animals to provide you with some tips for deal with high temperatures and heat waves.
Dusk and DawnWhile we can throw on tank tops and shorts to beat the heat, it’s not so simple with dogs. A dog’s fur not only helps regulate temperature but also helps protect them from UV rays when outdoors so simply cutting a dog’s hair isn’t the answer. Dogs also regulate temperature by panting and perspiring through their paws, which makes them more prone to potential heat stroke. As things heat up, it’s best to adjust your exercise schedule accordingly with walks earlier in the morning before it gets too hot or later in the day once the sun starts to set. Avoid letting your dog outside during the hottest times of the day will help ensure they safely get through the summer months.
Leave Spot at HomeEven when the temperature seems mild for the spring or summer, a car will heat up quickly even with the windows cracked. Dogs are much more easily effected by heat than humans, so leaving them in a car, even for a short period of time, while you run an errand can be potentially deadly. Rule of thumb is to not leave dogs in a car anytime it’s over 70 degrees. At 75 degrees it takes only 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach 100 degrees.
Keep Spot IndoorsWhen temperatures approach the triple digits, it’s best to keep your dog indoors. But, if you have to keep your dog outside, make sure they have plenty of access to shade and clean water to avoid heat stroke. Also, limit their time outside to just a few hours per day.
Signs of Heat StrokeHeat stroke can be deadly but catching the signs of heat stroke early can save your pet’s life. Here are symptoms to watch out for if you suspect your pet is having a heat stroke:
- Excessive panting
- Dark or bright red tongue and gums
- Bloody diarrhea
If you suspect heat stroke you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible. While waiting for veterinary care you can provide some immediate treatment using cool (but not icy) water to lower your pet’s temperature by submerging your pet in a tub of water, wetting them down with a hose or sponge. If your pet showed signs of heat stroke and appeared fine after being cooled down, do not assume that all is well. Internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, and brain are all affected by extreme body temperature elevation. It’s best to have a veterinarian examine your pet to assess potential health complications and ensure that other risks are not overlooked.