The summer season brings longer days and more opportunities to play outside. As temperatures get warmer, many folks bring their pets along for outdoor activities and car trips. It’s fun to bring a furry companion, but owners must also take extra precautions in the summer to make sure their pets are safe in the heat.
Before you set step out the door with a pet, it is very important to know what their ‘normal’ is. Know what their comfortable breathing rate, heart rate, body temperature, and gum color looks like so you can recognize something is wrong.
Heat stroke is common for pets with short noses or snouts – think of boxers, bulldogs and pugs. Heat stroke is also seen in obese pets, pets with thick fur, or pets that are not used to the Las Vegas heat.
Signs a pet might be having a heat stroke include heavy panting, being unable to calm down, and bright red gums. Cool down the pet if their temperature is over 105 and immediately visit a veterinarian. Heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.
A bonus hint: Never leave pets in the car. After only a few minutes, a car can reach temperatures of 120+ degrees. While it may seem like common sense, people still leave their pets in cars. So stop doing this.
You can download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app to have veterinary advice in the palm of your hand. The app features first aid steps for more than 25 common pet situations and identifies common substances that are toxic to animals.