Summer Pet Safety

The inside of a car can easily become a death chamber for a dog or other pet, especially in the kind of weather we’re having this week.  When the outside temperature is 100 degrees it takes only 15 minutes for a car’s interior to reach 140 degrees.  With no way to sweat, dogs can easily suffer heatstroke. Symptoms include exaggerated panting or a sudden stop to panting, a rapid or erratic pulse, heavy salivation, anxiousness, weakness, muscle tremors, lack of coordination, bright red or bluish mouth, convulsions, vomiting, collapse, coma, and death.  If a dog seems to be excessively hot it should be moved to a cool shady place and provided with cool water, but not cold.  The cool water can be used to wet the dog’s skin, especially exposed areas like the belly, armpits and paws.  Fanning works well to increase evaporation.  If the dog has not recovered within a half-hour, veterinary help should be sought.  Even taking a walk can hurt a dog.  When the temperature is just 87 degrees, asphalt can reach 143 degrees, easily hot enough to burn the pads of a dog’s feet.  A good test is for a person to place the back of their hand on the pavement for 10 seconds and see if it’s bearable.