It’s Getting Hotter…
The following are a few tips to help you keep your pet comfortable and safe in warmer weather.
Never Leave Your Pet in the Car
In nice weather you may be tempted to take your pet with you in the car while you travel or do errands. But during warm weather, the inside of your car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even if you’re parked in the shade. This can mean real trouble for your companion animals left in the car.
If you do happen to see a pet alone in a car during hot weather, alert the management of the store where the car is parked. If the owner does not return promptly, call local animal control or the police department immediately.
Watch Out For Fertilizers and Deadly Plants
Plant food, fertilizer and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them. In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals.
With people and dogs spending more time outside, dog bites are likely to increase in the warmer months. Spaying or neutering your dog reduces the likelihood that he will bite and provides many other health benefits.
Pet Care 101
Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and identification tag. If you are separated from your pet, an ID tag may very well be his or her ticket home.
Check with your veterinarian to see if your pets should be taking heartworm prevention medication. Heartworm disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, can be fatal in both dogs and cats. Another warm weather threat is fleas and ticks. Use only flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian. Some over-the-counter flea and tick products can be toxic, even when used according to instructions.
Recognizing the Signs of a Heat Stroke
Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include: collapse, body temperature 104° F or above, bloody diarrhea or vomit, depression stupor, seizures or coma, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart rate, salivation.
If you suspect heat stroke:
- Get your dog out of direct heat
- Check for shock
- Take your dog’s temperature
- Spray your dog with cool water then retake temperature
- Place water – soaked towels on the dog’s head, neck feet, chest and abdomen, turn on a fan and point it in your dog’s direction, rub Isopropyl alcohol (70%) on the dog’s foot pads to help cool him but don’t use large quantities as it can be toxic if ingested
- Take your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital
During a heat crisis, the goal is always to decrease the dog’s body temperature to 103° F in the first 10-15 minutes. Once 103° F is reached, you must stop the cooling process because the body temperature will continue to decrease and can plummet dangerously low if you continue to cool the dog for too long.
Even if you successfully cool your pet down to 103° F in the first 10-15 minutes, you must take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible because consequences of heat stroke will not show up for hours or even days. Potential problems include abnormal heart rhythms, kidney failure, neurological problems and respiratory arrest.
Please note: this article has been provided for informational purposes only. If your pet is showing any signs of illness, please give us a call at 714-463-1190 as quickly as possible.