Avoid a Canine Catastrophe
Why Summer Heat Is a Serious Threat
Every summer, we see dogs suffer serious health problems due to heat—and temperatures don’t have to be very high to pose a risk. Did you know that with an outside temp of only 78 degrees, the temperature inside a parked car can reach 120 degrees in minutes?!
Being left in a car isn’t the only summer peril for your pet. Burns from hot pavement, sunburned skin and drowning are other hazards pet owners may not consider. Shaved and light-colored dogs are especially susceptible to sunburn, and if pavement is too hot to walk on in your bare feet, it’s too hot for your pet. Pets are also lost to drowning because owners assume all dogs can swim. This is not necessarily true!
Dehydration and heat stress (hyperthermia) are the most common heat-related injuries we see, and these can be fatal. Signs of heat stress and dehydration include dry, pale gums, excessive lethargy, decreased urination and lack of appetite. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, call us immediately or take them to an emergency clinic if after hours.
So how do we protect both dogs and cats from a summer catastrophe? Common sense goes a long way. Simply keep them inside on hot days except for short potty breaks. Walk dogs only in the early morning or evening; make sure they have fresh, cool water at all times; don’t allow them to walk on hot pavement; apply a pet-approved sunscreen to dogs at risk; and don’t allow them to swim without your close supervision.
Lastly, NEVER leave a pet in a car, especially if temps have reached the 70s. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that hundreds of dogs die each year from this cause. Remember, we are always here to answer your questions and to help your pet have a safe, healthy summer.
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