North Central News

Keep pets safe in summer swelter

Summer will officially arrive this month and it is important to remember your pets’ health could be at risk. With temperatures consistently over 100 degrees in Maricopa County for the next five months, Fix.Adopt.Save. Alliance members are cautioning pet owners of the dangers our Arizona climate pose to your furry friends.

Below are a few tips from Fix.Adopt.Save. to remember during the warm months ahead:

Don’t Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car—On a warm day, the temperatures in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows down. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation. It is best to leave pets home, if possible.

They Don’t Sweat It—Pets don’t sweat efficiently and can potentially overheat more easily than people. Dogs will continue to fetch until they drop. Look for signs of overheating, which include excessive panting or vomiting.

Take 5—Adjust your daily walks to half the distance and to extremely early in the morning or late in the evening to account for the sweltering temperatures.

Offer Shade—Dogs and cats can get sunburned too, especially if they have short hair! Keep them cool and protected by giving them a shady spot to hang out when they want to keep you company outside. Baby sunscreen can even be applied to exposed skin.

Hydration Station—Keep your pet hydrated, and leave plenty of accessible water outside. Think buckets, not bowls.

Paw Patrol—The blazing concrete means paws can get extreme burns. If walking a dog, do so in the early morning or well after the sun goes down as the pavement can take hours to cool off after a very hot day. Consider getting them booties as well, or walking them only in grassy areas (carry them to the grass if needed).

If your pet becomes overheated, gradually lower his or her body temperature by applying cool (not cold) water to the areas listed below:

  • Place cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits and in the groin area. You may also want to wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water directing a fan on the wet areas to speed evaporating cooling.
  • You may offer fresh, cool water if your dog is alert and wants to drink. Do not force your pet to drink.
  • Play it Safe—Take your pet immediately to a veterinarian. It could save his or her life. Call ahead, if possible, to be sure your pet can be seen ASAP.

 

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