If it’s too hot for you it’s too hot for your pets

Locally Heavy Rain Potential
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 7:31 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - As you have fun in the sun this summer and bring your pets out to play, remember to be aware that animals can get heat stroke too.

While cats and dogs like to enjoy the outdoors as much as humans do, they don’t always understand how quickly they can become dehydrated or get heat stroke. So it’s up to the owner to be prepared and notice the warning signs.

Dr. Martha Briley is a veterinarian at Country Club Veterinary Clinic and says she often sees cases of heat stroke in animals during the summer, “They do not have normal sweat glands like people do, they do have the capacity to sweat a little bit through their paw pads.”

Briley says while the little bit they can sweat helps, it’s not enough to cool them off if they stay out in the heat too long. So, it’s best to make sure there is a shaded area nearby that you can bring your pets under to cool down when they start to get overheated.

Making sure your pet is also getting enough water is an important factor. Briley says that if you have an animal that says outdoors when you leave home, be aware that sometimes they can accidentally knock over the bowl of water you leave out for them. So you may want to have a backup source of water they can reach just in case.

Briley also reminds owners to never leave their pets alone in the car, even if they crack a window to get more air circulating. It doesn’t take long for a dog to overheat in that car.

“Let’s just say the temperature outside is 80 degrees you can guarantee that the temperature inside a closed-up car is going to be at least another 30 degrees hotter than that,” says Briely.

And when walking your dog outside on the sidewalk, be aware that the pavement can get incredibly hot which can burn their paws. Briley recommends avoiding pavement and walking your dog in the grass instead, “They will also start panting and what we think may not be too long of a walk for them in the heat you just never know.”

Finally, some signs that your dog or cat may be overheating are redder gums, panting, laying down, and over-grooming for cats.

“If they are getting overheated dogs will be panting, if you have a cat the cat will probably be grooming themselves to cool off,” said Briley.