Keeping pets cool in the extreme heat

Amanda Aguilar Image
Saturday, September 10, 2022
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While temperatures drop slightly this weekend, the heat can still be dangerous for our furry friends.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- While temperatures drop slightly this weekend, the heat can still be dangerous for our furry friends.

"Very simple signs of heat stress in an animal is panting excessively, like extremely hard, extreme drool, haziness over the eyes, very confused look in their face, dizziness, kind of stumbling. Very bad signs of heatstroke are vomiting of blood, diarrhea with blood, things like that," explained Ruben Cantu, with Valley Animal Center.

Members of the facility's dog park spent Friday morning with their dogs -- beating the heat.

"I only have a patio yard, so I come out here 3-4 times a week and let her swim for an hour or so," said Carol Hushaw.

If you aren't able to get your dog out when it's cool, Valley Animal Center staff said there are still ways dogs and cats can exercise -- just not physically.

According to Cantu, food enrichment toys are a good option.

"There are different types of specialty bowls that work like a puzzle for the dogs, and it works almost like a game of fetch," he said.

Potty breaks aren't something that should be skipped, despite the heat.

Cantu shared a simple tip for any owners whose dog steps into the backyard and makes a U-turn back into the house.

"It helps to put them on a leash and take them to the destination if you know where that spot is that they like to go," he said.

Cantu added that shoes can protect a dog's or cat's paws from the hot asphalt.

"Even on a temperature of 95 degrees, that asphalt on a driven road can still reach temperatures of almost 150 degrees," he said.

The extreme heat can also be dangerous for certain dog breeds with a short muzzle nose.

Lastly, make sure pets have lots of water and a shaded area.

Fortunately, Valley Animal's clinic has yet to see animals come in with a heat-related illness.