Pet ALERT – Vets Issue WARNING!

Veterinarians are sounding the alarm: Summer is here, and the first heat waves are due to start hitting in the middle of June. Every year, some pets are caught in deadly heat, and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different.

Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and California are some of the headliners among a litany of states that will face temperatures in excess of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Millions of Americans who live in the crosshairs of the hot weather are reminded to drink plenty of water, to avoid physical activity, and to avoid the heat where possible—stay indoors, stick to the shade, run the air conditioner. Pet owners also have to look out for their pets.

Owners are advised to stay alert for signs of overheating and dehydration in their pets, such as drooling, panting, rapid or deep breathing, vomiting, disorientation, and weakness, according to Dr. Whitney Miller, the Chief Veterinarian of the pet supply giant Petco.

Dr. Monica Sterk, who works with the Veterinary Emergency Group says that heat stroke can hit animals as well as people, and can attack the digestive system, the kidneys, the lungs, the heart, and the brain. It also changes the way the body reacts to injury, dampening the clotting response and leading to uncontrolled bleeding. Regardless of treatment, if it’s severe enough, heat stroke can be fatal.

To avoid the chance of life-threatening disaster, Veterinarians advise keeping your animals indoors on hot days. Keep the air conditioning on and give them a consistent supply of cool drinking water. Dogs may need their daily walks, but to ensure their safety they should be walked in the cool hours of early morning and late evening, and make sure their exercise isn’t so intense as to lead to overheating.

Keeping your dogs indoors during the heat of the day will also protect them from burning their paw pads on the hot pavement.