Summer is here and so is the heat. These tips will help make sure you and your pets safe in the heat.
1. Make Sure Your Pet Doesn’t Get Overheated
If you think they may have heatstroke, go to your vet immediately. At 104 degrees, many pets have seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
What are the warning signs of overheating in pets?
– Excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, drooling, weakness and sometimes collapse.
-Petechiae (pinpoint, deep-red hemorrhages on gums/ skin); bright red mucous membranes on the gums and conjunctiva of the eyes.
– Hyperventilation (gasping for air); staring; glassy eyes; anxious expression; refusal to obey commands; warm, dry skin.
Are certain breeds more likely to get heatstroke? Yes, dogs and cats with flat faces (think pugs and Persian cats) are more susceptible as they can’t pant as effectively. Senior pets, puppies, overweight dogs and cats and ones with respiratory/lung problems should be in cool, air conditioned rooms.
2. Make Shade Your Friend
Since pets get dehydrated quickly in warm weather, make sure they have access to fresh and clean water and a shady place to escape the sun. Don’t overexert your pet; just keep them inside and take them out in the early morning and later when the sun is not as strong and it is not so hot.
Leaving your dog in a hot car in CT is illegal. Under Connecticut State Statute, cruelty to animals can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, with fines of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. If caught, you might also be required to attend counseling and participation in animal cruelty prevention and education programs as conditions of your probation.
“On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time-even with the windows open-which could lead to fatal heat stroke,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.
3. Practice Safe Water Sports
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool. If your dog isn’t a good swimmer, introduce him gradually to the pool. Ensure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water (due to chlorine and other chemicals that could be ingested).
Don’t let your Pet’s become victims of High-Rise Syndrome There is an increase in injured animals during summer months when pets (mostly cats) fall out of windows/off railing. Take simple precautions like screening windows and ensuring they are tightly secured to prevent accidents. Make sure kitty doesn’t get too hot and become disoriented.
4. Give Your Dog/Cat a New ‘Do!
She’ll love the feel of a shorter cut (trim). Don’t shave your dog as layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Persian cats often get “lion cuts” in the summer.
5. Beware of Asphalt
Pavement, metal or tar-coated asphalt can reach very dangerous temperatures. The summer heat on your dog’s feet is equally as dangerous. Burned pads may be hard to detect at first glance. Here are the signs:
- limping or refusing to walk
- licking or chewing at the feet
- pads darker in color
- missing part of pad
- blisters or redness
How to prevent burned paws? Be mindful of hot surfaces and walk your dog on the grass or in the shade (provided the area is cool). If you must go on the pavement, lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on. It’s a great way to keep cool and his pads safe until you load him in the car or transfer him to a cooler surface.