Summer in Arizona can be grueling, and our pets are just as vulnerable to the effects of excessive heat and sun as we are. Since our pets have fur coats and a limited ability to sweat, they can experience heat exhaustion or heatstroke in a very short period of time. That’s why it’s so important to take every possible measure to maintain your pet’s comfort and keep them healthy during these sweltering months.
Summer Pet Safety Tips
Make sure that your pet always has access to clean, fresh water if they’re going to be spending time outside. Also make sure they have abundant shade and shelter from the elements. If you have a small pool or shallow tub, convert it into a wading pool for your pet to use if or when they need it.
Do not, under any circumstances, leave your pet in the car. Parking in the shade and leaving the windows open will not keep it cool enough! The interior of your car can go from 80 to 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. If you need to run errands at any time during the day, leave your pet at home.
Keep a cooling bed for your pet if you do not have sufficient air conditioning (you can order these online).
Make sure your pet is up-to-date with their vaccinations and is taking their flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives monthly.
Don’t allow your pet to walk on hot pavement. Protective ‘booties’ are ideal (if your pet will tolerate them). The hot sidewalk can burn their feet and raise their body temperature.
Walk your dog either in the early hours of the morning or in the evening, when it’s much cooler.
Never leave your dog chained up outside.
Keep outdoor play/activity to a minimum.
Signs of Heatstroke
Recognizing signs of heatstroke in your pet can save their life. Be sure to watch for the following:
- Labored breathing/panting
- Bright red gums and tongue
- Excessive drooling or lack thereof
- Rapid/irregular heartbeat
- Elevated temperature
- Loss of consciousness
If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact our animal hospital right away at (623) 889-7090, so we can treat them. Heatstroke can be fatal, so don’t wait!