This weekend, it was 105 degrees here…in the shade. Irie and Tiki camped out on the air-conditioner vents and didn’t even look up when we opened the front door. They had no interest in going out in the heat.
They know and important fact: extreme heat is dangerous for dogs as well as for people. Today we received some tips from BluePearl Veterinary Partners, headquartered in Tampa, with tips from their vets about simple steps you can take to help prevent your pet from taking a trip to the emergency room:
- Avoid physical activity during the heat of the day; keep exercise to the cooler mornings and evenings.
- Ensure your pet has access to plenty of water throughout the day and during times of exercise.
- Spray your pet down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and heat can’t escape the body properly, which actually makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse.
- Make sure pets are kept inside of air-conditioned spaces to avoid excess exposure to heat.
- When walking or jogging with your pet, try to avoid asphalt as your pet’s paw pads can burn. Instead, stick to concrete, dirt or grass, as those surfaces are less hot.
- Never leave your pet in a car unattended, even with the air conditioning running. If the air conditioning fails, your pet could easily over-heat in as little as a few minutes.
- Don’t give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplements like sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.
Most importantly, be familiar with your pet and know when they aren’t acting right. Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.