Stifling Heat Can Endanger Your Pets

Stifling Heat Can Endanger Your Pets

We took temperature readings on the asphalt, the bed of a truck, inside a car with the windows cracked open and inside of a car with the windows completely closed. Outside it was 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soaring temperatures can mean big trouble for animals. Heat-related problems are some of the most common issues of summertime ailments. We are sure all our pet parents have heard this before, but it is vitally important to be aware of what heat can do to our loved ones!

Did you know that the temperature in a car can rise almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes?  In 20 minutes it can rise up to another 30 degrees! That’s too hot for us humans let along a dog. Humans have sweat glands that allow us to keep our bodies cool by sweating. Dogs can only sweat from the pads of their paws and pant to cool their body temperature. To us humans, that would be the equivalent to wearing a furred jumpsuit and only being able to sweat from our hands and feet! Sounds horrible right?  If a dog has only hot air to breathe they can collapse, suffer brain damage and possibly die of heatstroke. In 10-15 minutes an animal's body temperature can climb from a normal 102.5 to deadly levels.

Following are signs to look for if your pet is suffering from the heat: restlessness, excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and immobility.  As the situation progresses the animal's gums may turn brick red or even purple or blue. If you think your pet is suffering from any of these ailments take them to the veterinarian immediately! Suffering from heat-related illness is not only painful but can be very, very deadly.

The best thing to do is to avoid the heat of the day altogether. Stay at home and certainly do not take your dog for a walk. The best time for outdoor activities with your dog is dawn or dusk when the ambient and surface temperatures have cooled.

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