Extreme Heat Means Danger For Pets

Veterinarians provide tips to keep pets safe

This week, temperatures in much of the United States are expected to climb to beyond the 90 degree mark, with heat indices above 100 degrees. This can mean extreme danger for pets.

To keep pets safe, the veterinarians at Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center (www.ChicagoPetEmergency.com) remind pet owners of the following:

  •   *Never leave your pet unattended in a car.  Even with the windows open, the interior temperature of a car can exceed 100 degrees in a matter of minutes on a warm day.  This can cause heatstroke, a life-threatening condition for pets. Heatstroke can lead to kidney failure, brain damage, and in severe cases, death.
  •   *Asphalt, concrete, and sand can become extremely hot. Use caution when allowing a pet to walk on these surfaces as they can quickly burn a pet’s paw pads.
  •   *Keep pets indoors. It's best to keep pets indoors in an air-conditioned environment as much as possible on extremely hot days. When outdoors, pets should have access to shade and plenty of cool, clean drinking water.
  •   *Don’t over-exercise your pets.  Exercise is great for pets, but it’s important to use caution. Avoid excessive exercise on hot days. Any exercise should take part during the coolest part of the day.
  •   *Never leave your pet unattended in a pool or lake. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Some may get tired or have difficulty getting out of the water, leading to problems or even drowning.
  •   *Prevent sunburn. Light-colored dogs, hairless dogs, and dogs that have been shaved can get sunburned. Use a pet-specific sunscreen to keep your pet safe from sunburn when it is outdoors.
  •   *Use only pet-safe products. Never use sunscreen or insect repellant on animals unless it is specifically approved for use on that species. Some products made for human use are toxic to pets.

Pet owners who think their pet may be suffering from heatstroke should immediately move the animal to a cool place and begin cooling the pet. Pets can be cooled with damp towels or by immersing the animal in cool (not cold) water or rinsing it off with a hose. Pet owners should also seek immediate care from their veterinarian or from an emergency veterinary center. Veterinarians can help cool pets with intravenous fluids and other medical resources.

Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center never closes and is prepared to treat any emergency a cat or dog may encounter including heatstroke, burnt paw pads and sunburn.