by KYW’s Nan Talleno
Summer’s soaring temperatures can take a heavy toll on our pets so take extra precautions to keep them safe, cool and comfortable this summer.
Dehydration can set in quickly, and this can become a serious situation so always provide plenty of fresh, clean water at all times. Make sure your pets have easy access to a shady place to get out of the sun; but it’s always best to keep them indoors in extreme heat. Be careful not to over-exercise them. Take walks in the early morning or early evening to avoid excessive heat and be aware that sensitive paws can burn or injure easily on hot asphalt.
Watch for signs of heat stroke with symptoms that may include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. This may also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
The ASPCA warns that animals with flat faces (bracecephalic breeds) like Pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke since they can’t pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. Of course, never leave your pets in a parked vehicle in the summer under any circumstance or left alone outside on a hot day.