SIGNS OF PET HEAT EXHAUSTION: Over-exposure to heat causes many of the same symptoms as shock. If your pet become seriously overheated he will begin panting very hard; his gums may become dark pink or even reddish. Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. A dog’s normal body temperature is 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. When your animal’s body temperature elevates to more than 104 degrees he can experience seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
COOLING DOWN YOUR PET: If you suspect your pet is in danger soak him with cool water immediately or wrap him in cool, moist towels. If symptoms of heat exhaustion persist take him promptly to a veterinarian.
SUMMER HAIRCUTS: Giving your dog a lightweight summer haircut helps prevent overheating, but it must be done properly. We recommend leaving at least one inch of fur, and never shave down to the skin, as your pet still needs some protection from the sun. As far as skin care, be sure that any sunscreen product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals. For cat owners, brushing your feline more often than usual can minimize problems caused by excessive heat.
THE DAILY WALK: Vets see burned dog paws every summer. Because we wear shoes, we’re not always aware of the heat absorbed by sidewalks and asphalt. Before taking the dog for his walk, test the sidewalk with your bare feet. If you wouldn’t walk on it, don’t make him.
PETS IN TRUCK BEDS: If you can avoid transporting your dogs in the bed of a truck, please do. Dogs in truck beds need to be safely secured or tethered, as they can be tossed about, especially during sudden or unexpected braking. If tethered improperly your dog can tangle his neck, break a limb, or worse. If for some reason you must take your dog with you in the back of your truck, make sure the surface of where the dog has to sit or stand is not metal, and does not absorb heat. Test it. If it feels hot to you, it feels hot to your pooch.
PETS IN CARS: Of course you’ve heard this a million times, but it’s important: Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Even with the windows slightly open, the temperature inside a car can soar to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more within minutes. These conditions can kill a pet within 10 minutes or less.
DOGS PRONE TO HEAT EXHAUSTION: Are some dogs more prone to heat exhaustion than others? Overweight and older dogs will have more difficulty with the heat. Snub-nosed dogs like boxers, bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus have poor panting mechanisms compared to other, longer-nosed breeds, and so are more susceptible to the affects of our desert heat.