While summer may officially begin in June, Phoenix temperatures had already reached the high 90s by mid-April — just a sampling of the months ahead, and a good time to remember a few important tips to help keep pets safe over the summer months.
First, keep pets indoors if you can. If not be sure that shade in a ventilated area is available. Also, never chain them up; if they get tangled up, it will be difficult for them to access shade or water.
Keep pets hydrated with access to cool water at all times, whether indoors or out. Do not exercise pets during afternoon heat; hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws. Also, do not exercise pets strenuously, and never leave a pet in a parked car; on a hot summer day a car’s interior temperature can reach 200 degrees in just minutes.
Heat exhaustion in pets will often present itself with loud, rapid panting; rapid pulse; glazed eyes; excessive salvation; elevated body temperature; excessive whining/agitation; staring and/or vomiting, the Humane Society says. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is manifested by failure of the body, which can result in disorientation, seizure, coma and sadly, death.
If a pet exhibits signs of heat exhaustion, immediately call your veterinarian while attempting to cool it down. Do so by placing the pet in a shaded area, applying small amounts of cool water to its body; especially head, feet and groin and giving them very small amounts of water to drink.
The Arizona Humane Society reminds residents who witness a pet in distress inside a vehicle and the owner does not return promptly, they can notify nearby businesses to page the owner. If that fails, they can contact the AHS Emergency Field Dispatch at 602-997-7585, ext. 2073, then stay with the car.