Even in Seattle, the interior of a car can hit 160 degrees in less than five minutes—parking in the shade with the windows cracked is still dangerous! Too much heat can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal. If your buddy has a shorter nose, like Persian cats and bulldogs, he is more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses. If you suspect your pet has become over heated, seek veterinary care immediately.
Signs of Heat Stroke
-Body temperatures of 104-110F degrees
-Dark or bright red tongue and gums
-Staggering or stupor
How do I keep my pet cool at home?
-Consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, make sure they have shade and fresh water access at all times.
-If you live in a warm climate, it’s a good idea to hose down your dog before work, at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling.
-If possible, allow your dog to dig themselves a “den.” The fresh soil below the surface will help cool them down.
-Walk your dog early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid the warmest part of the day.
-For cats, consider leaving your AC on in a specific room. If you don’t have air conditioning, a fan, plenty of water, and closed blinds will help ease the heat for your feline friend.
Fun tip: invest in a kiddie pool for supervised dips for your dog to beat the summer heat!
If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, seek Veterinary attention immediately! Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet. (Very cold water will cause constriction of the blood vessels and impede cooling.) Just because your animal is “appears” cooled, do NOT assume everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are definitely affected by the body temperature elevation, and blood tests and veterinary examination are needed to assess this.
Enjoy the hot weather, but leave your best friend at home if you can’t take him in with you at every stop!