Protecting pets during high temperatures

Veterinarians say dogs, cats, and other animals can also suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Brianna Willis Image
Friday, July 14, 2023
Protecting pets during high temperatures
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When it comes to scorching temperatures, pets are also a big concern.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- When it comes to scorching temperatures, pets are also a big concern.

Veterinarians say dogs, cats, and other animals can also suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion, which is why keeping animals safe and cool is top of mind for pet owners.

"We just try to come early because of the heat, so bring everybody out and let them run, and get the energy out so they can cool off at home," said Woodward Dog Park Volunteer, Mona Ahmed.

Ahmed had 12 dogs out at Woodward Dog Park and says when triple digits arrive, she does everything she can to make sure they get out energy but stay safe.

"Mainly keep them hydrated, we make sure they have water, we have water for them, and try to stay as much as in the shaded area for them to play ball or something," said Ahmed.

Veterinarian Cheryl Waterhouse says when it comes to your dog in the heat, there are symptoms to look out for.

"Dogs on the other hand are very susceptible to heat stroke and the signs are panting really heavily, tongue hanging way out because they are trying to increase that surface area for evaporation, if you look at their gums instead of a nice pink, its a muddy color," said Waterhouse.

Waterhouse adds you can get a plastic kiddy pool for your furry friends to play in or drink out of, to keep their body temperature down.

"Dogs can usually handle about 100 degrees or so when they are just in their backyard when it gets to 110 - 115, I mean I've seen dogs heat stroke just loose in their own backyard," said Waterhouse.

At Valley Animal Center, there are other resources to help dogs beat the heat.

"We do have a dog park here at valley animal center that opens as early as 7 am and we do have a pool on site so the dogs get a chance to cool their body temperature down, swim in a filtered pool, and socialize with other animals as well, said Animal Care Adoption Supervisor Ruben Cantu.

Cantu adds it's important to keep your dog with you even when running errands in the sweltering heat.

"Make sure your aware of where to go in the case of an emergency, and another big thing that isn't mentioned a lot, is never leave your dog in a car," said Cantu.

While dogs are quick to show signs of heat stroke, Waterhouse says they are not the only animals who can experience this.

"Cows and pigs can also exhibit heat stress, horses are pretty resistant to it. Horses and cats, those are desert animals. So, we don't see as many problems with them," said Waterhouse.

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