With temperatures soaring into the 90’s, the Seattle Humane Society reminds dog owners to keep your pet safe from the heat.
One thing dog owners often overlook is protecting their dogs’ foot pads during our searing heat wave.
Your pet’s foot pads contain sweat glands that help keep him cool, and the feet are particularly vulnerable to hot surfaces. Sidewalks, pavement, sand, and especially black asphalt can reach blistering temperatures in direct sunlight and cause nasty burns on your pet’s feet.
Signs of burned foot pads include:
• Limping or refusing to walk
• Foot pads appearing darker in color than usual
• Raw, red or blistered foot pads
• Licking or chewing on the feet
Take preventative measures and protect your pet’s feet by walking your pet earlier in the day before the sun heats things up. You can also walk on grassy paths or shady areas.
Water play is refreshing but tender foot pads softened from prolonged water exposure can burn more easily. Dog owners should take extra care to protect dogs’ feet from hot surfaces after water play.
A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of
107 to 108 degrees for only a very short period of time before suffering brain damage — or even death.
Remember that if your dog has a shorter nose like a Pug or a Bulldog, it’s is more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses. If you suspect your pet has become overheated, seek veterinary care immediately.
Signs of heat stroke include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive drooling
- Increased body temperature
- Reddened gums or tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting & diarrhea
At home consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water at all times. If it’s hot out, consider hosing down the dog before work, at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling.
If you suspect that your pet has suffered from a heat stroke, seek veterinary attention immediately. Use cool water, not ice water, to cool your pet (very cold water will cause constriction of the blood vessels and impede cooling). If your dog “appears” cooled, do not assume everything is fine. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, brain, etc., are affected by elevated body temperatures and blood tests and veterinary examination are needed to assess this.
And remember, if you are driving, leave your dog at home if you can’t take it in with you at every stop. It is much too hot to leave your dog in your car.