Thanks to the Seattle Humane Society for putting out these hot weather safety tips in advance of our hottest weekend of 2015:
Going for a long drive with your best friend is one of the joys of summer. Just remember that even in
Seattle, the interior of a car can hit 160 degrees in less than five minutes – that means parking in the
shade with the windows cracked just won’t do. It’s easy to get distracted and leave your pet waiting longer than intended, and not worth the risk.
Heat stroke develops rapidly and can lead to severe problems like organ failure and even death. Pets with
shorter noses, like bulldogs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer
noses as there is less area for heat to evaporate.
“Dogs and cats don’t sweat through their skin,” says Brenda Barnette, CEO for the Seattle Humane Society.
“They cool themselves by rapid breathing and when the temperature outside is hot and close to their
internal body temperature, it means animals must work even harder to stay cool. So when it’s hot for you,
it’s even hotter for them!”
Signs of heat stroke in a pet include heavy panting, agitation, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, staggering,
vomiting and a deep red or purple tongue.
If an animal becomes overheated, place him in a cool place and apply cool (not cold) water all over his body. Apply ice packs or cold towels only to the head, neck and chest. Let him drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes and take him immediately to a veterinarian.
DO NOT wait to see if your pet improves – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.