Dealing with the insanely hot summer months is something Arizonans know about all too well. What some of us forget to take into account is how hot it gets, and how it affects us, and especially our pets. Pets are vulnerable to overheating just like humans and some breeds are more susceptible than others. May 26th is National Heat Awareness Day, and we want to help you prepare for the months ahead.
What is Heat Awareness Day?
Heat Awareness Day is a great time to sit down and do your research on heat, and the crazy temps we have in the desert. If you have kids, take the time to research how they are affected in comparison to adults, as well.
The best way to stop heat stroke is to prevent it from ever happening. May is usually the last month of decent weather we have before summer begins here in the desert. Once temps reach 90 degrees and higher, there are a few things to remember:
- Stay indoors – get your dog’s exercise in the morning before the pavement heats up, other than that, keep pets indoors as much as possible. If they have to go outside, invest in booties that will protect their paws.
- Keep water fresh and replenished – as an added treat on really hot days, add a few ice cubes to the water bowl.
- Never keep a dog in a parked car – The internal temperature of a parked car can reach almost 200 degrees in a matter of minutes.
- Pool parties are for the dogs too – If you find yourself out by the pool like most of us, buy a plastic kiddie pool for the pets to enjoy. This can help them gradually get comfortable with water, and lead them into the pool.
- Sunscreen – Dogs with short or light colored fur need sunscreen if they’ll be outside for a prolonged period of time. When buying sunscreen for your dog, avoid zinc oxide and put on a test area first.
Symptoms & Treatment
Did you know dogs with short noses, or long hair are more likely to suffer from a heat related illness? Signs of overheating and heat stroke include panting, redness of skin and gums, and increased body temperature. If you see any of these, immediately move your dog to a cool area, or cool them down with cool water. If symptoms do not subside, bring your dog in to your vet immediately.
The summer in Arizona is a great time of year where everything seems to slow down. However, we want to ensure you stay safe. Follow these precautions and your summer should be nothing but fun-filled. If you have any questions about heat related illnesses, please call us at 480.968.9275 or visit our website.