Keep Your Pets Cool in the Florida Heat
Every year we see reports across the country about pets dying from heatstroke after their owners accidentally leave them in a hot car. Here are some steps you can take to keep your pets safe in the sweltering summer months, and all year round.
Leave your pets at home.
A quick trip to the store can easily turn into a longer errand, leaving your pet alone in a hot car longer than you anticipated. The temperature inside a vehicle can go up by 20 degrees in as few as 10 minutes, even with the windows cracked. In 15 minutes, animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke. If you must take your pet with you, keep the car running with the air conditioning on.
Recognize the symptoms of heatstroke.
Unlike humans, dogs and cats cool themselves by panting, which is a slower cooling process than sweating. If your dog stops barking, lies down, and pants heavily, it could be showing early signs of heat exhaustion or stroke. Other symptoms include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, a dark tongue, a rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination.
Get to the nearest veterinarian or animal hospital.
If you think your pet has heatstroke, the most important thing to do is get it to a vet as quickly as possible.
Be careful taking your pet outside any time in the summer.
Being left in a hot car isn’t the only cause of heatstroke. Taking your dog for a walk or run in the middle of a hot day can cause heatstroke, especially in senior animals or animals with chronic illnesses.
Thanks to SPCA Tampa Bay for sharing these tips!
Florida Animal Friend is a non-profit organization devoted to helping fund these organizations’ costs of spaying and neutering homeless pets by awarding grants. These grants are funded through the sale of the Florida Animal Friend license plate. http://myfloridaspecialtyplate.com/animal-friend.html