Friday, May 21, 2010

Summertime and the living is….HOT! Protect Your Pet From Hot Cars & Heat Stroke

Summertime is here , which means outdoor fun in the sun with your four-legged companion. But with summer comes dangerous situations. The most common warm weather hazards include heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn – all of which can be prevented. So with the help of our Twitter friends we are going to be giving some wonderful tips in the upcoming weeks that will help keep your furry friends safe this summer.

Never leave your pet in the car even with the windows cracked.

We all know that dogs love to be by our side but with summer comes those heat waves which can signal danger. Did you know! That even on warm summer days your shaded car can reach 120 degrees in minutes.

Since dogs and cats can’t perspire they pant and rely on their pads as a cooling agent. It is true that every second matters. In those brief moments your pet can suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and brain damage or succumb to death. Many heat stroke incidences happen when dogs are locked in cars with windows rolled up or slightly cracked. Even an pre-air conditioned car can be no match for that summer heat. So take extra precaution on those hot & warm days and leave your furry friend cool & safe as a cucumber in the comforts of home while you run your errands.

Save a life by speaking up! If you do come across a pet alone in a car on one of those hot summer months please alert the store manager. If the owner does not return promptly, call your local animal shelter or the police ASAP. Lets protect our furry friends this summer.

What are the warning signs of heat stroke in pets that you should be aware of?

Well, heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering walk, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. So what do you do if your dog suffers from signs of heat stress? Well, the first step is to lower your pets body temperature by doing the following:

1. Relocate your pet to a shady area out of the direct summer heat and pour cool (not cold) water over his or her coat to slowly lower their body temperature.

2. Apply Ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck & chest only.

3. Let your pet lick ice cubes, but limit access to cold water.

4. Heat stroke is life threatening for animals. So consult your vet for emergency & get them to a vet IMMEDIATELY!!

Don’t forget to tune in to your local weather station for up to the minute updates on the weather so you and your pet can plan ahead.

Download and print these free flyers so next time you see a dog in a car, even on a cooler day you can remind the owner that their pet is saying: “Don’t Leave me in here – It’s Hot!”

Also, be mindful, that your dog’s pads can suffer heat trauma from contact with hot asphalt or other summer-scorched surfaces.

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Janet Tobiassen DVM said...

Awesome job getting the word out about this *very real* danger. Dogs die every year from this. In just minutes! These are totally preventable deaths. Just a couple weeks ago, I found two dogs in a truck, windows cracked. No breeze, panting dogs. Grrrr. I called animal control! They were very helpful and concerned. My full story is here: A parked car can be a deathtrap. Bottom line: be proactive - minutes matter! Keep those flyers in your glovebox to have ready at all times.

Missy said...

This can never be mentioned enough. Too often i see dogs in parked cars, while the owner steps away "for a minute" to run an errand.

It gets pretty hot in the South (where i now live), and i see it way way too often.

But i cant fight everyone on this. Will get in trouble. But i do my best to let people know it can be deadly.

P.S. another thing i see alot in the South, is people carrying their dogs in the back of their pick-up trucks - driving a 100mph. I don't know which makes me angrier - the dog in a parked car or the dog holding on in the back for dear life. Oy!

But great looking out. Thx!!!