Heat advisory! Keeping pets safe as temperatures soar. Here are some tips to keep your pets healthy in the dog days of summer.
During this beautiful weather, we know there is nothing better than getting out and enjoying the day with your dog, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Dogs can overheat quickly while out on a walk or playing at the park. As pet parents, it is our job to end the game and give our pups a cool down break after a few minutes. This is especially true for brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs, Frenchies, Bulldogs, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, and Boxers. Because of their short snouts these dogs cannot cool themselves off as easily as other breeds so are especially prone to overheating. Once temps rise above 70 degrees dogs can start feeling the effects. Temps of 75-80 degrees can become uncomfortable for elderly dogs, over weight, short snouted dogs and puppies under 6 months pretty quickly. When temperatures rise above 80 all dogs are at potential risk.
To protect pups of all breeds, keep walks and playtime short, especially mid-day when the sun is high, carry water with you and keep flat faced dogs in the shade. It’s best to do walks early in the morning and late in the day after sunset with just quick bathroom breaks in the afternoon.
Look out for signs of heat exhaustion.
Signs of heat exhaustion include excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, lack of coordination, and, in more severe cases, vomiting, diarrhea, bluish coloration of the tongue and gums and convulsions. If you think your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion, get them to a cool shady or air-conditioned location and contact us or the emergency vet of your choice right away.
The pavement itself can also pose a danger to your pet. As the sun beats down, streets and sidewalks retain heat that can burn dogs’ paws. Once temperatures rise above 77 degrees asphalt can reach upwards of 125 degrees, when it hits 95 degrees the asphalt can hit a scorching 149 degrees. You can check the temperature of the pavement by simply touching it with the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. On days when the sun’s rays are strong it’s best to keep outdoor time short and walk dogs in the shade.
Finally, if you are driving around town or taking a road trip with your pet, remember, car temperatures can rise quickly, hitting dangerous numbers in just a few minutes, even with the windows cracked. Please don’t leave pets alone in the car.
Have a happy and safe summer!
The Williamsburg Vets Team