Keeping your furry friends safe as summer temperatures continue to climb

Tips from a Lake Charles vet about ensuring your pet doesn’t suffer from heat exhaustion
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:04 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - As temperatures continue to climb, it’s important to protect your furry friends from the scorching summer heat. On a day like today, when temperatures are well into the 90′s by noon, you’ll find many area dog parks empty - as people keep their pets at home in the A.C.

For those who are out walking their dog like Jacob Love, they’re extra careful to protect their pups from heat exhaustion.

“I’ll make sure and bring a little collapsible bowl and a gallon of water and just make sure he stays hydrated,” Love said.

Dr. Renee Grudzien at Companion Care said in Louisiana summers, it’s especially important to keep your dog safe from the scorching heat.

“It got really hot really quickly this year. So even dogs that have been fine in year past when it’s been warmer, might have trouble this year. If you’re hot outside, your dog is hot outside. People can remember if it’s hot to not engage in a lot of physical activity. Dogs don’t do that. dogs will run and run and run,” Grudzien said.

She said breeds most susceptible to heat exhaustion are becoming more popular.

“Those are dogs like bulldogs and French bulldogs, American bulldogs, boxers, because their face is so short, their soft pallet’s long and they don’t dissipate heat like they should, and those dogs get heat exhaustion really easily,” Grudzien said.

Here’s what Dr. Grudzien said to look out for: increased panting, restlessness, agitation, your pet being hot to the touch, and in severe cases, even seizure.

“If you suspect your dog is too hot, get them to your vehicle immediately if you’re away from your home, blast the air conditioner,” Grudzien said.

While shady areas are great, air circulation is key. Even a fan is a good option. She also reminds people to not pour cold water or ice on pets.

“That makes their blood vessels constrict and get smaller, so it actually makes it harder for them to cool down,” Grudzien said.

She also said if you suspect your pet is suffering from a heat-related illness seek veterinary attention immediately. She said it’s very difficult to bring a dog back from heat exhaustion without IV fluids, and can even result in lasting health effects such as liver or kidney problems.

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