Pets Suffer In Hot Weather, Too!
UPDATED July 7, 2010
By WeatherBug Meteorologists
The dog days of summer are here, so let`s not forget about our furry friends when it comes to heat safety. Just as people can suffer from heat-related illness and death, so can our pets.
Dogs tend to be more at risk because they love to be with their owners, as do their owners love to be with them. Whether it is the park or the beach, owners need to know what to do to make sure their pet is happy and comfortable.
- Try to keep pets off dark pavement. Owners do not think of what it would be like to walk on it barefoot, as pets do.
- Pets get thirsty too. If you feel thirsty, then your pet is already dehydrated. Be sure to bring water with you when you trek out for a walk on those hot days.
- If you take your pet to the beach make sure your pet goes into the water. Have a blanket for your pet too. Would you feel comfortable lying on hot sand?
- Remember if it is too hot for you outside then it is too hot for your pet to be outside. Let them stay inside or leave them behind if you are going out.
Cars are very dangerous for pets in the summer heat. Leaving your pet in the car on a hot summer day can be devastating. If you plan on going someplace that you cannot bring your pet, you are better off leaving your pet at home. If it happens to be 80 degrees outside and you were to leave your pet in the car for a mere ten minutes, the inside temperature of the vehicle will have already reached more than 100 degrees. After 30 minutes the temperature will have reached at least 120 degrees. This happens when the outdoor temperature is only 80 degrees.
Contrary to popular believe pets cannot handle heat better than a human being. Their body temperature is only a few degrees warmer than ours and they do not sweat like humans do. Pets can suffer heat stroke just like us, but it happens much more rapidly. There are specific things to look for to make sure that you can protect your pet from sufferings heat stroke.
- Stress in pets often causes rapid heart rate, which combined with heat can quickly cause heat stroke. A stressful situation could be a family trip or an outdoor park with lots of people and other pets around.
- Panting, vomiting, and grey-blue discoloring of the tongue are signs that heat stroke is setting in and action should be taken.
If in the unfortunate case your pet does start to show signs of heat stroke, give the pet plenty of room temperature water. Cold water will make things worse, upsetting the pets stomach. Ice cubes, fans, spray bottles, and damp towels will all help alleviate symptoms of the heat stroke.
In extreme cases, your pet may go unconscious from heat stroke. Take immediate action! Hose down or submerse your pet in cool water and direct a fan on your pet to get the body temperature down. Once your pet is stabilized call your vet. It is important to get the temperature down before calling the vet, because if you wait too long, it may be too late.
Pets are an important part of our summer fun. Having the necessary pet-weather knowledge can make the difference in your pet`s health during the summer months. Making sure they are safe and healthy will keep the summer fun alive.
Be sure to keep WeatherBug active in your system tray for the latest on any developing heat waves this summer and your local forecasts.
Story image: WeatherBug user Sue Mueller of Las Vegas took this picture of her dog getting some relief from the heat.
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