How to keep your furry friend safe from the summer heat
With the summer heat intensifying, Tom Dock, Director of Communications at Noah’s Animal Hospitals, provides crucial advice on keeping our beloved pets cool and safe. As temperatures rise above 90 degrees, it becomes essential for residents of Indianapolis and Marion County, in accordance with city ordinances, to bring their pets indoors.
Leaving pets outside without proper shade and cool water puts them at risk of heat stroke, which occurs when their body temperature exceeds 105 degrees. Dogs and cats typically have core body temperatures between 100 and 102.5 degrees. It’s important to be especially vigilant with pets with brachycephalic faces, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and overweight pets, as they are at a higher risk.
If you notice excessive panting, restlessness, collapse, brick-red gums, or thick saliva in your pet, it is crucial to act quickly. Remove them from where heat stroke occurred and place cool (not cold) towels on the back of their neck, armpits, and groin region. Using a fan to blow air directly on them can also be beneficial. However, it’s important to avoid using ice, as it can constrict surface blood vessels and trap heat in the body’s core.
While these measures can help lower the body temperature, seeking veterinary evaluation is vital, as heat stroke can cause internal organ and gastrointestinal tract damage. Remember, cats are also susceptible to heat stroke, although they are generally more adept at finding cool perches to cope with high temperatures. Lastly, never leave pets unattended outside, as heat stroke can occur in less than an hour, and never leave them in a car, as temperatures inside can skyrocket dangerously within minutes, even on seemingly mild days.