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Pet Safety During Heat Wave
Updated: Tuesday, July 16 2013, 04:54 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/FOX 28) --
As people brace for the heat wave that is forecasted to blanket the U.S. this week, doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners are urging pet owners to take precautions for their pets during the sweltering days ahead.
BluePearl doctors recommend these simple steps to help prevent your pet from taking a trip to the emergency room:
1. Avoid physical activity during the heat of the day; keep exercise to the cooler mornings and evenings.
2. Ensure your pet has access to plenty of water throughout the day and during times of exercise.
3. Spray your pet down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and heat can’t escape the body properly, which actually makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse.
4. Make sure pets are kept inside of air-conditioned spaces to avoid excess exposure to heat.
5. When walking or jogging with your pet, try to avoid asphalt as your pet’s paw pads can burn. Instead, stick to concrete, dirt or grass, as those surfaces are less hot.
6. Never leave your pet in a car unattended, even with the air conditioning running. If the air conditioning fails, your pet could easily over-heat in as little as a few minutes.
7. Don’t give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplements like sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.
Most importantly, be familiar with your pet and know when they aren’t acting right. Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.