Summer Safety

By May 30, 2014 Uncategorized
dog wearing sunglasses on beach chair

With warm weather here, we urge you to protect your pets against common summer safety hazards.  Hundreds of pets die needlessly every year because well meaning owners leave them unattended in parked cars while they run errands.

The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your pet.  In a parked car the temperature can climb to well over 38 degrees.  Pets can withstand high temperatures for only a very short time—usually just 10 minutes before suffering irreparable brain damage or death.

Dogs (and cats) cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws.  The upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high temperatures making it impossible for pets to cool themselves.  Your pet will be much happier and safer at home, with shade and plenty of cool water.

It is also a good idea to avoid walks during high-heat times of day.  If you do need to be outside during these times, make sure to stay in the shade and provide access to fresh water.

Finally, if your pet spends a lot of time in your yard, also make sure there is an shady area and lots of water available.

Heatstroke symptoms

  • Exaggerated panting (or sudden stopping of panting)
  • Rapid or erratic pulse
  • Salivation
  • Anxious or staring expression
  • Weakness and muscle tremors
  • Lack of coordination
  • Tongue and lips turning red or bluish in colour
  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Coma

Emergency Treatment

  • Immediately move your pet to a cool, shady place.
  • Wet animal with cool water.
  • Fan vigorously to promote evaporation.  This process will cool the blood, which reduces your pets core temperature.
  • Do not apply ice, this constricts blood flow which will inhibit cooling.
  • Allow your pet to drink some cool water (or lick ice cream if no water is available).
  • Take your pet to a Veterinarian as soon as possible for possible further treatment.


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