♪♪♫Summer time and the livin’ is easy…..♫♪♫
Once again the warm weather has arrived. Weather patterns in southern Ontario have changed so much in the last few years. One minute it’s winter and the next minute it’s summer. As we put our winter coats and boots away and get out our summer gear we need to remember that our four legged friends need to be protected from the heat.
Each summer we hear stories in the news about dogs that are left in hot cars. Don’t let your dog become a statistic. It take minutes for temperatures to rise to dangerous levels in a car, even parked in the shade with the windows cracked open and air conditioning running. Dogs that are housed outdoors need to be checked on a regular basis. Make sure they have lots of shade and lots of fresh water. Even a cool bath will help keep them comfortable. Trips to the vet or to the groomer on a super hot day should be avoided as well as stress can add to their body temperatures rising. Wait until the weather has cooled somewhat unless you absolutely have to go.
Dogs tend to be at higher risk than most other animals because we tend to take them with us wherever and whenever we can. Avoid exercise outdoors when temperatures are high. If you must, make sure you have plenty of water on hand and take frequent breaks for your pet to cool down. When going for a walk remember that the pavement can be very hot and scorch your dog’s feet.
It’s important that you recognize the signs of heat exhaustion. Cats, birds and other small animals are at risk as well. Pet that suffer heat exhaustion may show the following signs:
- Excessive panting
- Pale gums
- Increased heart rate
- Drooling with thick, ropey saliva
If you notice any of these signs provide emergency care and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
Move your pet to a cooler place, wrap him in wet towels, or wet him with cool (not cold) water.
Heat exhaustion is life threatening. Your veterinarian will provide life-saving measures such as intravenous fluids, and medications to improve breathing and stabilize shock.
Everyone wants to have fun in the sun-just remember to be safe.