STEUBEN COUNTY, NY (WETM) – With temperatures rising it’s important to keep in mind how to ensure the safety of our pets. The Steuben County Sheriff’s department release eight tips on how to keep your furry companions safe in the summer.
Steuben County Sheriff’s 8 Tips for Pet Care in Hot Weather (Adapted from the ASPCA):
- Leave pets at home. Dogs cool themselves by panting, which precipitates convection; that is, their panting exchanges warm body temperature for cooler air outside. If the outside air isn’t significantly cooler than their body temp, their cooling system doesn’t work and they can get heatstroke. Studies show that on a 75-degree day, temps inside a car (with windows cracked) can raise to 100 degrees in 10 minutes. Temps in dark-colored cars can rise, even more, reaching temps of 200 degrees!
- Keep plenty of freshwater accessible in deep bowls. All that heavy breathing takes a toll. Dogs lose moisture much faster than humans, so they should always have access to fresh, cool water. Deep bowls of cool water will stay chilled longer than shallow bowls, and you can also add ice to prolong the chill.
- Avoid burnt paws. If the pavement is too hot for your bare feet, well guess what — it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Always check the pavement before bringing your dog outside.
- Be sensible about exercise. *Exercise early in the morning or late at night when the sun’s intensity is less.
- Watch for signs of heat stress. Signs such as excessive panting, increased salivation, glassy eyes, and pale gums.
- Maintain their coat. A shaggy coat can actually help insulate your dog against the heat.
- Keep up on flea prevention. Ideally, your dog or cat should already be on a monthly flea preventative because it’s much harder to eradicate fleas from your home after they’ve already started to reproduce. Consult with your veterinary office for recommendations.
- Do you suspect heatstroke? If you think your pet has overheated, place cool (not ice-cold, as this can do more harm!), wet washcloths on his head and neck, and cool compresses on his belly and under his back legs. Call your vet’s office immediately and seek their advice about the next steps. Heatstroke can quickly lead to coma, cardiac arrest, and death, so don’t hesitate to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.