While the record heat wave has passed, there’s still lots of summer and hopefully fun in the sun to be had before the weather turns.
With the continued good weather, Chestermere Veterinary Clinic’s Dr. Gabriela Rotaru said that its important pet owners watch for signs of overheating in their animals.
“Puppies and long haired dogs can be more susceptible to heat so be aware and know what signs to watch for,” she said.
Just like people, pets can suffer from dehydration and heat stroke as the mercury rises.
Rotaru said that signs of over heating that people should watch out for include panting, hyper-salivating, tacky (sticky) gums that indicate dehydration, disorientation, staggering, collapse, vomiting, and diarrhea with blood.
“Seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect heatstroke in your pet, it can be fatal,” she said.
Towels soaked in cold water should be placed on the overheated dog or cat.
“Drive with windows down or with the AC on,” she said.
Rotaru said that there are strategies people can use to help keep their pets cool.
“Walk your dog early in the morning or later at night when it is cooler,” she said.
She also recommends that when pets are left at home they are kept in a cooler part of the house such as the basement.
It’s also important to provide fresh cold water for pets and to change it frequently.
She said it’s also important to limit the amount of exertion by pets in the heat of the day.
“Avoid strenuous exercise or long hikes in warm weather,” said Rotaru.
“Be especially careful and limit exercise or play time for dogs or cats with heart disease,” she said.
Finally, Rotaru stresses that pets should never be left unattended in a vehicle.
“The car overheats very fast when it is warm outside,” she said.
“If the outside temperature is 21 degrees Celsius, the inside car temperature in 10 minutes is 31 degrees Celsius, in 20 minutes is 37 degrees Celsius and in 30 minutes is 40 degrees Celsius,” said Rotaru.
In those kinds of temperatures, pets can succumb to heatstroke quickly.