How to keep pets safe during heat wave

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Temperatures across the Lowcountry are expected to be in the upper 90’s throughout the weekend with heat indexes reaching triple digits, and pets are particularly at risk for heat-related illness or injury, according to PETA.

Dog walkers should be especially alert during the heat wave, as dogs are unable to sweat which causes heat to build up inside their bodies. Additionally, pavement temperatures can easily exceed air temperatures, which can lead to burned paw pads. Hot pavement can also cause dogs’ body temperatures to heat up more quickly since dogs are closer to the ground.

It is important to test the pavement before walking your dog, take walks in shady areas, and take short walks during hot hours.

When spending time in the back yard, make sure that dogs have a cool area in the shade with fresh, cold water to drink.

While some dogs enjoy cooling off in the pool, they should never be left unsupervised; not all dogs are good swimmers.

During excessive heat, some animals should be kept inside as much as possible, as they are more susceptible to heat stroke. According to PETA, this includes elderly and overweight pets, pets with heart or lung disease, and pets with flat faces — like pugs or Persian cats — as they cannot pant as effectively.

Pet owners should actively monitor for signs of overheating in pets, including:

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart/respiratory rate
  • Drooling
  • Mild weakness
  • Stupor
  • Collapse
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea and/or vomit
  • Elevated body temperature

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