Beat the Heat: National Heat Awareness Day

Merritt Milam | May 20, 2015

Here at Wags ‘n Whiskers, we couldn’t be more excited that summer is right around the corner! But with summer approaching, it is important to remember that our furry friends are especially sensitive to high temperatures. Animals that are overweight, very young or old, or have short muzzles are most susceptible to temperature-induced health issues, but it’s important to protect ALL pets from the heat. May 23rd was designated National Heat Awareness Day to remind pet owners to keep pets safe in sweltering temperatures. Remember these helpful tips this summer:

Never trap your pooch in a parked car during the summer months. A car can heat up to unsafe temperatures in just two minutes, putting your pet at risk. Many believe cracking their car windows is a preventative measure, but this is merely a myth. If you’re running errands, leave your dog at home or take him/her inside the store with you. Just be sure to avoid leaving your dog in the car at all costs.

Remember that humidity is a “double whammy” for pets, which is especially important here in Alabama. Dogs cool down by panting to remove moisture from their lungs, so in extreme humidity they might be unable to pant quickly enough and could suffer from a heat stroke.

Exercise your dogs early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the extreme heat, and remember to always carry water. Also, try to walk your pups on grass instead of hot asphalt.

If you are worried your pet might be suffering from a heat stroke, it is crucial to immediately lower your pet’s body temperature with ice packs and a cool towel. Then, take your pet directly to the veterinarian. Here are some common heat stroke symptoms to watch out for:

  • Heavy panting or trouble breathing
  • Glazed eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Profuse salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Deep red or purple tongue
  • Seizure

Enjoy summer, but remember to keep your pets safe! If you’re ever concerned about leaving your pet outside to play while you’re away from the house, drop your furry friend off for daycare, which occurs in our climate-controlled, indoor facility. We hope to see you soon at Wags ‘n Whiskers!