14 Jun 2022

Protect your pet from excessive heat

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Heat index values are reaching dangerously high levels this week, so protect your pets just as much from the heat as you do.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers these tips from Iowa City Animal Services:

During hot weather or humid conditions, pets can quickly dehydrate, so make sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water available. You should provide your pets with a shady area to get out of the sun, don't overexert them, and keep them indoors when the weather is extremely hot.

Also Read | Animal lovers in Bengaluru take part in a mega show

Pets suffering from overheating may pant excessively or have difficulty breathing, have an increased heart rate or respiratory rate, drool, stutter or collapse. There are also symptoms such as seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.

Since dogs and cats with flat faces cannot pant as efficiently, they are more prone to heat stroke. It is best to keep these pets - as well as the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases - cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

Never leave your pets alone in a parked car. Several states do not allow this practice because it can result in fatal heat stroke!

Dogs are not all good swimmers, so you should not leave them unsupervised around a pool. Make sure your pets wear flotation devices when on boats. Introduce them to water gradually. If you swim with your dog, rinse off the chlorine from their fur and keep them from drinking pool water, as it contains chlorine and other chemicals.

Also Read | The treatment of dog bites and cat scratches

The risk of pets falling out of unscreened windows is real when they are open. Ensure the screens on all windows and doors in your home are tightly secured, and close all unscreened windows and doors.

Dogs' coats protect them from overheating and sunburn, so feel free to trim their longer hair, but never shave them. You can prevent extreme heat problems by brushing cats more often than usual. Don't forget to make sure any sunscreen or insect repellent you use on your pets is labeled as such.

It's best to keep your dog away from hot asphalt when the temperatures are very high. Due to the proximity to the ground, your pooch's body can quickly heat up, and his sensitive paw pads may be burned. Take him out as little as possible during this time.

Also Read | The treatment of dog bites and cat scratches


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