Help Your Pet Beat the Heat
Here in Tucson, we’re no strangers to excessively high temperatures during the summer, and we can usually find ways to cope with them. Unfortunately, heatstroke is all too common not only for us, but for our pets, and even swimming pools can be hazardous. Fortunately, there are various ways to keep your pet cool on these unbearably hot days without risking their safety.
- Not sure it’s safe to keep your pet outdoors for more than a few minutes? Let them do their business, then bring them back inside right away.
- Never, under any circumstances, leave your pet in the car while you run errands. Rolling down the windows won’t help, either, so just leave them home with their cool water and air conditioning.
- If you need to walk your dog, do so either very early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the heat.
- Keep your pet off the hot pavement if possible, or invest in protective footwear for them (if they’ll allow it).
- Always make sure your pet has plenty of cold, fresh water nearby.
- If your pet likes to use your swimming pool, keep an eye on them at all times, and make sure they don’t drink the chlorinated water; this can make them sick.
- If your pet has to be outside for any period of time, make sure they have access to fresh cold water and plenty of shade to shelter in (a small wading pool will also help them keep cool).
In addition to heat, summer also brings with it other hazards for your pet. Thunderstorms and fireworks make more frequent appearances during the summer months and can not only terrify your pet, but make them fearful enough to bolt if they have the chance, leaving them vulnerable to the dangers outdoors. To help them cope, make sure you bring your pet inside well before any storm or expected fireworks. For pets with acute noise aversion, you can also administer Sileo to them, which is an anxiety-reducing medication specific to noise averse pets.
Recognizing Signs of Heatstroke
Our pets are just as, if not more, vulnerable to heatstroke as we are, which is why it’s so important to prevent. However, knowing the signs of heatstroke can save an animal’s life, so be sure to watch for the following:
- Heavy panting/labored breathing
- Red gums and tongue/abnormally pale gums
- Inability to urinate
- Fast/irregular heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
Heatstroke can be fatal, so the earlier you notice the signs, the sooner your pet can be treated. Please contact us right away at (520) 722-2771 if you notice one or more of the above symptoms. If your pet is having an emergency outside of our office hours, please call Animal Emergency Services at (520) 326-7449 or Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center at (877) 762-9838.