Veterinarians warn of deadly dangers for pets this summer
Veterinarians are cautioning pet owners of dangers associated with rising temperatures during the summer months.
When temperatures rise, experts from VERG urge pet owners to follow these safety tips for their pets:
Never leave pets in a hot vehicle or similar enclosed space
Always allow your pet access to shade and fresh drinking water
When out for a walk, beware of prolonged exposure to hot surfaces that can harm your pet’s paws or skin, like concrete and asphalt
Don’t drive with your pet in the bed of a truck or with their head out the window
Know your pet’s limits when engaging in prolonged outdoor physical activity
Ensure your pet is protected from fleas, ticks, mosquitos and parasites, which are more common during the summer months
Every dog or cat, regardless of physical fitness, age, size, or breed, can suffer from heat-related illness. Heat-related death of a pet is preventable if identified quickly.
The normal body temperatures for dogs range between 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while cats body temperatures average between 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Pet owners should watch for signs of heat stroke that include, but aren’t limited to:
Excessive panting and/or distressed breathing
Weakness and/or fatigue
If your pet displays any of these signs, try to help cool them down by moving them to a cooler environment, provide fresh drinking water and consult your veterinarian immediately. If professional veterinary care is not immediately available, you can also use fans and air conditioning, and place cool (not ice cold) water-soaked towels on the pet. Do not place the dog in an icy cold tub, as too rapid cooling may be detrimental.
“We want pet owners to safely enjoy the summer and have fun with their furry friends,” said Dr. Brett Levitzke, medical director at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in Brooklyn. “Just keep an eye out for any warning signs your pet may be giving you and remember. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.”