Heat Safety Tips for your DogBy Child Safety Specialist August 21, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Pet Safety, Family
This past week, a Connecticut man was charged with animal
cruelty for leaving a dog in a parked car in the heat. Leaving pets in parked
cars unfortunately happens all too often and can lead to heat exhaustion, heat
stroke, brain damage, and even death. Taking extra safety precautions with your
pets during the hot summer months is recommended and necessary to keep them
safe. Follow these heat safety tips if you want to keep your dog cool and safe.
Even when parked in the shade, cars can reach alarming
temperatures up to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Just as you would never
leave a child in a car, your pet should never be left either, no matter how
short a time period. If you ever see an animal in a parked car be sure to call
your local animal control.
While regular exercise is vital to your pet’s well-being, it
should be limited during the heat. Taking your dog for a walk during morning or
evening time when it is cooler is safer, especially since the hot asphalt can
burn their paws. Particularly older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and dogs with heavy
coats should have limited exercise when it’s hot out.
If you are attending a crowded, outdoor, summer event such
as a barbeque or concert, the best heat safety tip is to leave your pet home.
The crowd and commotion of the event can be stressful to a pet and, combined
with the heat, could be a dangerous situation for not only your pet but other
If your pet is ever exposed to high
temperatures, however, there are precautions that you can take to ensure
that they remain healthy and safe. For your pet safety, look
for heat stroke signs such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, an elevated and rapid
pulse, unsteadiness, and a deep red or purple colored tongue. Remember that
dogs can’t perspire and the only way they have to relieve heat is to pant.
If your dog is showing heat stroke symptoms, the first priority
is to lower their body temperature immediately. Move him or her over to a shady
area and use cool (not cold) water to relieve their heat by applying it all
over his or her body slowly. Allow your dog to drink small amounts of water
slowly while applying ice packs to his or her head, neck, and chest only.
The most important thing to realize in the case of a heat
exhaustion in dogs is that taking them to a veterinarian could save their life.
Take these precautions with your pet as the summer winds down in order to keep
them safe, happy, and healthy.
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