Jun 17 2015

Beat the Heat!

The dog days of summer are almost here.  As temperatures continue to climb, it’s important to remember extreme heat can be very dangerous to not only people, but pets.  Be prepared with these helpful safety tips!

1)       Limit exercise on hot days.   We love hearing all about your pet’s adventures, but please do it in the early morning or late evening.  If possible, walk on grass.  Asphalt can get hot enough to burn your pet’s paws.   And don’t forget to bring the water dish!

2)      Never, never, never … leave your pet in a parked car.  On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car (even with windows slightly opened) can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes!  It then jumps to 120 degrees after 30 minutes.  This can lead to permanent organ damage, or death.

3)      Provide plenty of shade & water.  If your pet is outside, make sure you have given him plenty of protection from the grueling sun.  Trees/tarps offer better shade than a doghouse as they allow for better air flow.

4)      Offer your pet several ways to cool down.  Fans are great for us two-leggers, but they are not always as effective for pets.   Add some ice cubes to your pet’s water.  Do they love wet/moist food?  Fill a Kong, freeze it, and offer as a treat.  You could also visit your local pet retail store and purchase a cooling mat.

5)      Let the hair fly!  That nice winter coat your pet has been growing is just itching to be brushed.  Keeping your pets coat clean and brushed can help them steer clear of skin problems and help them stay cool.

6)      Watch out for any coolant leaking from your vehicle.  Pets are enticed by the sweet taste of coolant, and just a small amount can make them sick.  It can even cause death.  If you think your pet may have ingested coolant, they should be seen by Dr. Brown right away.

If your pet has been exposed to extreme heat, be alert for signs of heatstroke.  Symptoms include heavy panting, lethargy, profuse drooling, lack of coordination, glazed eyes, fever, excessive thirst, a deep red or purple tongue, vomiting, and collapse.  If you suspect this, they should be seen as soon as possible.


Lastly, with all of the thunderstorms rolling through, it’s important to have a plan in place before your power goes out.  Check out this helpful ASPCA page on disaster preparedness: Disaster Checklist.


-the team at VAC-

Jo Fleming RVT, CVPM | Uncategorized

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