With valley temperatures hitting triple digits, your pet can suffer from heat exhaustion and heat stroke if exposed to extreme temperatures. Maricopa County Animal Care & Control recommends becoming aware of the signs of heat stress, which include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.
Many breeds are sensitive to the Phoenix heat. To avoid problems, make sure pets go outside to potty and come right
back in. If your dog must stay outside while you’re at work, make sure they have a shaded area with plenty of clean water where they can stay cool. Remember that shady spots may change during the day, so an area that is shady in the morning may be blistering in the afternoon. Consider hiring a local pet sitter to come midday while you are at work to take your dog out to potty. For a list of local pet sitters you can trust, visit bbb.org.
Panting is a visible sign that your pet is hot. If your dog is panting very hard or lying on its side, not wanting to move, you need to take the pet inside an air conditioned area to cool down and apply cool (not cold) water over its body to gradually lower its core body temperature. Let your pet drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. Most importantly, take it to a veterinarian immediately if symptoms don’t improve.
Pets need exercise even when it is hot, but extra care needs to be taken with older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and those with thick coats. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours and try to stay in shaded or grassy areas. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws. A way to determine if it’s too hot for your pet’s paws is to touch the floor yourself, especially if it is asphalt.
Keeping your pets coat trimmed and brushed is almost as high of a priority as keeping them hydrated. Groomers recommend bathing the animals only once every two weeks and keeping the undercoat combed out to help keep the animal cool. A thick undercoat is like wearing a blanket.
Pets can be sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen on his or her nose and ear tips. Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Please consult your veterinarian for pet approved sunblock products.
Share tips on how to keep your pet healthy during the summer months.
Do you leave them outside while at work?