Summer Heat Safety Tips

Here in Florida, the Summer heat can become a danger to your pet.

Follow these guidelines to keep your pet safe.

1. Never leave your pet in a parked car, even briefly. The temperature can rise very quickly to a dangerous level.

2. Do not take your dog for a run during the hot part of the day. Early mornings are best. Your dog will try to go the distance, and never tell you he is uncomfortable. Dogs are not acustomed to keeping a steady pace like us, but prefer to run fast and then stop. If your dog is not used to running with you, let him build up his endurance gradually by adding 1/4 to 1/2 mile each week. Watch for signs of fatigue.

3. Outdoor pets must have a good amount of shade in an area open for breezes. They also must have plenty of cool water. A small wading pool or mister is also helpful. Do not keep dogs in a small doghouse, as this traps heat.

4. Brachycephalic pets (short-faced such as bulldogs and boxers) can not pant as effective as other dogs and should be kept indoors.

5. When taking your pet to the beach or lake, be sure they have access to shade and drinking water. Do not allow your dog to drink from the ocean. Watch for sunburn, especially on white short-haired dogs.

These are the early warning signs of heat stroke: Heavy panting, rapid breathing, excessive drooling, and bright red gums.  If these signs occur you must get your pet into the coolest area possible and start applying water and ice packs to cool him down. You can also apply rubbing alcohol to the foot pads.

These are the later emergency signs of heat stroke: In addition to above, the tongue/gums turn blue & pet becomes lethargic, breathing becomes loud and labored, possibly losing  bladder control. Start the above cooling proceedures, but get your pet to a veterinarian immediately. Your pet can go into shock and die from a heat stroke.


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