Feeling the heat? Your pet probably is too

How to keep your furry friend safe in hot conditions
The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 3:10 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Believe it or not, fur and heat are not the best combinations.

“Things happen very, very quickly. Heat stroke happens very, very quickly,” said Serena Heig, a veterinarian at Mountain View Animal Hospital in Rapid City.

The two most basic things your pet needs to avoid a heat stroke are water and shade.

“It needs some protection from that sun. You know, whether it’s a tree, whether it’s a dog house, who knows, but by far water and shade are the most important,” explained Heig.

However, if you notice your animal excessively panting, shaking, or wobbling it may be time to take them inside.

“Pets usually, both cats and dogs, have nice pink, bubble gum pink mucus membranes. So, their tongues and their cheeks and their lips and stuff like that if you see that getting a darker color, a red, purple, dry those kinds of things would be something to look for,” stated Heig.

Usually, once you get your pet back into a cool place with water, they should be able to return to normal, but if symptoms persist it’s time to call the vet.

However, this shouldn’t keep you from taking your dogs for a walk.

Instead, adjust your schedule so they can be taken out in the morning or evening.

“So just kind of hope you can re-arrange your schedule to get them out in those cooler parts of the day, but keeping with routines, keeping with exercise is always best,” said Heig.

Early or late walks also provide protection to a dog’s paws from heated surfaces.

“Unless you’re walking on grassy surfaces and you’re having to be on the cement or sidewalks or asphalt, those get extremely hot, and if our dog’s feet come into contact too long with those you can certainly get some burn damage and things like that,” explained Heig.

Even if the paws are off the ground and in a car, remember that when turned off vehicles heat up fast.

“A car within an hour, or a little less than an hour, a car can heat up an extra 40-43 degrees. So, like a 70-degree day, it could be 113 degrees in there within an hour,” warned Heig.

So, stay cool and stay safe and your furry family member will be just fine.

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