Warning Signs and Safety Tips for Pets this Summer
As temperatures rise this summer, so do the potential health risks for pets. To protect your furry friends this season, the experts from VERG urge pet owners to follow the safety tips outlined below:
- Never leave pets in a hot vehicle or similar enclosed space
- Always allow your pet access to shade and fresh drinking water
- When out for a walk, beware of prolonged exposure to hot surfaces that can harm your pet’s paws or skin, like concrete and asphalt
- Don’t drive with your pet in the bed of a truck or with their head out the window
- Know your pet’s limits when engaging in prolonged outdoor physical activity
- Ensure your pet is protected from fleas, ticks, mosquitos and parasites, which are more common during the summer months
Every dog or cat, regardless of physical fitness, age, size, or breed, can suffer from heat-related illness. Heat-related death of a pet is preventable if identified quickly.The normal body temperatures for dogs range between 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while cats’ body temperatures average between 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Pet owners should watch for signs of heat stroke that include, but aren’t limited to:
- Excessive panting and/or distressed breathing
- Excessive thirst
- Weakness and/or fatigue
- Thickened saliva
If your pet displays any of these warning signs, help cool them down by moving them to a colder environment, provide fresh drinking water and consult your veterinarian immediately. If professional veterinary care is not immediately available, you can also use fans or air conditioning and place cool (but not ice cold) water-soaked towels on the pet. Do NOT place the dog in an icy cold tub, as too rapid cooling may be detrimental.
“We want pet owners to safely enjoy the summer and have fun with their furry friends,” said Dr. Brett Levitzke, medical director at VERG. “Just keep an eye out for any warning signs your pet may be giving you and remember: if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.”
For questions or concerns regarding your pet or for other safety tips, please visit www.verg-brooklyn.com/contact-us/ or call us at 718.522.9400, located at 196 4th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11207.