Summer Pet Safety: Heat Strokes
Pet safety is a majority priority during the hottest months of the year. As summer presses on, it is in all pet’s best interests that owners monitor for signs of heat stroke. Even indoor pets, such as guinea pigs or rabbits, can be vulnerable if their home is not maintained at a livable temperature. Pets who spend time outdoors are even more susceptible.
Preventing Heat Stroke
All great owners know that pet safety is our responsibility. Heat stroke is a preventable condition that can be avoided with a few, common sense precautions.
- Never leave pets in a hot vehicle
- Pets that are left outside should have access to plenty of shade and cool water
- Indoors, air should be able to circulate, whether with the use of fans or air conditioning. Like vehicles, the internal temperature of your home can be higher than the temperature outside if measures are not taken.
- Save walks and activities for the cooler parts of the day: early morning and evening
Signs of a Heat Stroke
A high body temperature can cause organ failure in pets, so recognizing the signs in time is vital. Some common symptoms include excessive drooling, very red gums and tongue, dizziness, tremors, non-responsiveness, and dilated pupils. Pets internal temperatures are higher than ours, ranging anywhere from 100.5 to 102. This is perfectly normal. But, if the temperature outside is higher than your pet’s internal body temperature, heat stroke is very possible. Once a pet’s temperature reaches 104 degrees, time is of the essence. In these cases, pets will often recover with treatment. If it reaches 106 degrees, the heat stroke can cause death.
Treating Heat Stroke
If you notice that your pet has any of the symptoms above, check their temperature with a rectal thermometer. Begin the cooling process by placing them in cool, not cold, water. Overcooling can cause hypothermia and contribute to the illness of your pet. Continue to monitor rectal temperature until it reaches 103 degrees. Take your pet to the veterinary as soon as possible, to check for signs of dehydration and other complications.
Pet safety is especially important in the months where extreme temperatures are possible. Keeping pets safe can help ensure that you enjoy a long, happy life with your best buddy.