Pet owners urged to follow extreme heat safety tips
by Kevin Pearson
Jul 14, 2013 | 2704 views | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The summer’s high temperatures can be dangerous not only for humans, but for pets as well.

Not taking measures to insure that your pet is cool in the heat could lead to heatstroke or death.

One of the main causes for this is leaving pets in parked cars.

The Humane Society of the United States says, “On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.”

Leaving your pet in these high temperatures could result in irreversible organ damage or death.

Not only is the heat a factor that could affect pets, but also the humidity, which averages between 60 and 90 percent from May to September.

Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association said on the Humane Society of the United States website, "Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly."

Although the humidity and heat in the Delta can be very harmful to animals, there are some things that pet owners can do to insure that they don’t overheat such as exercising in the early morning or evenings and walking your pets on the grass.

Using fans to cool your pets is not as effective as one would think because animals respond to heat differently than humans.

For instance, dogs sweat primarily through their feet.

Always make sure your pet has plenty of shade and water to combat the heat.

Doghouses will actually make the heat worse so shade from trees and tarps work the best and don’t restrict airflow.

During severe heat waves, adding ice cubes to your pet’s water bowl is also a great way to beat the heat.

Director of the Bolivar County Humane Society Sherry Norquist said, “Obviously provide shade and lots and lots of cool water. If the water gets to hot they won’t drink it. I would like to stress that you should not exercise your pets during the day and do not leave them in a vehicle. Provide a fan because it will at least circulate the air. The best thing to do to keep your pets cool is to leave them in your house.”

If your pet is showing signs of heatstroke such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness, move your pet to a shaded area, apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck, and chest of the animal, let them drink small amounts of cool water, and seek the immediate attention of a veterinarian.