Harrisburg, PA – With extreme heat pounding the midwest and eastern United States, families with pets are warned to keep the safety of pets in mind, as they cannot deal with the heat as easily as humans.
Pets that are heavier and have darker coats are most at risk to heat stress and precautions should be taken to observe their behavior early in the day. If your pet suffers from chronic illness this stress can exacerbate their symptoms and create an avoidable trip to the vet.
Here are some additional tips:
1 – Avoid Unneceesary Car Trips – Whenever possible you should not take your pets with you on car trips where they will need to sit in the car for any length of time. Interior temperatures can rise in minutes and create suffocating conditions for them, even for five minutes by themselves. While driving, if there is no air conditioning your pet can become overwhelmed even when the windows are open.
2 – Bring Outdoor Pets In – Whether you have an outdoor dog or cat you should locate them and bring them inside during extreme heat (temperatures over 90 degrees). If your home does not have air conditioning, allow your pet to stay in the coolest spot in the house, such as a basement.
3 – Adequate Shade And Water – If you cannot bring your pet indoors, make sure they are secured in an area with plenty of shade and you give them plenty of water. Also, you must continually check their water and keep it filled. Between drinking the water and rapid evaporation they can quickly run dry.
4 – Walk Pets In The Early Morning or Evening – If at all possible, change your walking schedule to an early morning or twilight time so that your pet is not stressed from the exercise or hot pavement.
5 – Watch For Stress – Heavy panting, trembling, pacing, heavy slobbering are all signs of heat stress. If these symptoms escalate and you cannot calm your pet, then contact your vet immediately.
Everyone dreads the heat, but let’s not forget the family pet, as they remain silent in their discomfort.