How to take care of your pets during hot summer days
Please take extra precautions for pet health and safety during our current heat wave. Leave pets at home instead of in a parked car, even if on short errands. With windows open and car in the shade, 85 degrees outside becomes 102 degrees inside within 10 minutes. In 30 minutes, the temperature climbs to 129 degrees from solar gain, residual engine heat, and pet panting. Brain damage can occur at 107 degrees and death can result at 120 degrees. If you see a stressed animal in a hot car, make an immediate 911 call to animal control, police or sheriff.
Dogs: On the beach or in a boat, sun reflection is intense off sand and water. Keep pets hydrated with fresh, clean drinking water. Cool them down with a wet towel. Provide shade. Watch for the symptoms of heat stress: heavy panting, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, dizziness. Move an overheated pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water over the body to gradually lower temperature. Apply ice packs or cold towels to head, neck, and chest. Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes. Take your pet to the veterinarian.
Cats: Like dogs, cats pant to cool themselves. When the temperature increases, panting becomes less effective. Indoors, leave air conditioning on an energy-saving but safe setting like 76 degrees F. Make sure there is plenty of fresh water, and provide access to the cooler parts of the house.
Older and overweight pets: Temperature extremes are hard on elderly or overweight pets. Exercise in the cool of the morning or evening. Provide safe, shady hideouts during the day with plenty of water in tip proof containers.