Tampa, FL- With extremely high temperatures and humidity across the nation this week, veterinarians are encouraging you to keep your pets safe from the heat. This week we are seeing record highs for this time of year, making sure that you keep your pets cool is vital.
A heat stroke in a dog can occur after being outside for only five to ten minutes during the middle of the day. Pets’ temperatures can reach 107-109 degrees in that short amount of time. When temperatures reach that level, there can be permanent brain damage or organ damage caused.
Dogs and cats normal temperature can run anywhere from 101.5-103.0 degrees. They do not release heat like humans, making it easier for them to have a heat stroke.
Another major concern during this heat is hot pavement. Hot pavement can cause the pets’ paws or pads to burn and they rub them off. This causes excruciating pain and possibilities for severe infection, not to mention an unwanted vet bill.
Pavement is typically 48-65 degrees warmer than the air. A rule of thumb to test the heat is to lay your hand, palm down on the pavement. If it is tolerable for ten seconds, it is safe for your pet to go for a walk.
Veterinarians advise to keep water on hand and also try to stay in the shade, but recommend that you walk your furry friends at dusk and dawn to prevent overheating. They also recommend leaving for pet at home if attending an outdoor event.
Never leave your pet in a parked car unattended, even if for one minute.
Signs of an overheating dog are: excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased respiration and heart rates, drooling, confusion or collapsing. Other symptoms can be seizures, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and elevated temperatures of more than 104 degrees.
If you experience any pet emergency, please seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.