How to keep pets safe during the heat wave

Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Cold weather poses health risks to your pets, but so does warm weather, even on days that don’t seem that hot to you. Knowing the risks and being prepared can help keep your pet safe.

Taking your dog out during the hottest part of the day could lead to heat stress and even heat stroke.

“Our recommendation is to try to keep the dogs indoors, keep them cool, use a little common sense regarding safety with the heat as they would their children and themselves outdoors,” Veterinarian Dr. Terry Ford of Best Friends Animal Clinic said.

Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively.

“Things to watch for if a dog is getting overheated; rapid respiration, rapid pulse, vomiting, even brick red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and those dogs are in trouble, those dogs need to be seen by a veterinarian pretty quickly,” Dr. Ford said.

“If they’re having a heat stroke, don’t put them in cold water immediately, that sends them into shock,” Best Friends Animal Clinic Receptionist Niki Walters said. “Put them on a cold towel and justice wipe them down and get into the vet immediately.”

Never shave your dog, the layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.

“If it’s too hot for your feet, then it’s too hot for their paw pads,” Walters said.

Being so close to the ground, your dog’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.

“Make sure they have proper shelter as well as proper water available, you know at all times,” Dr. Ford said. “If we do see a dog that’s outdoors tied to trees or, you know, chained outdoors, that doesn’t have access to water, they need to notify animal services.”

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