Veterinarians offer tips to keep pets safe in summer heat

Veterinarians offer tips to keep pets safe in summer heat

Summer is heating up, and those rising temperatures could be dangerous for your pets.

BluePearl Veterinary Partners recommend taking certain precautions to ensure your pet doesn't suffer from any heat-related illnesses.

"Every summer we see serious and life-threatening heat-related injuries at all of our specialty and emergency hospitals for pets across the nation," said Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer of BluePearl. "Most of these injuries are entirely preventable and we encourage pet parents to follow these simple steps."

BluePearl doctors recommend keeping pets in an air conditioned environment during the heat of the day and limiting pets strenuous activities like running and playing.

"Focus on outdoor activities either early in the morning or late in the day,"Welser said.

If your pet does become overheated, spray the animal down with room temperature or cool water, but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and heat can't escape the body, which makes heat exhaustion symptoms worse.

Don't give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements to pets. Pet owners should also remember to make sure their pets have access to plenty of water at all times. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplements like sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.

Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are all signs of heat-related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably or collapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinary hospital immediately.

The veterinarians at BluePearl also say pet owners should never leave a pet in an unattended vehicle during the hot summer months.

"Ultimately, any time you feel your pet may be in need of medical assistance, please don't hesitate to get them to your veterinarian as soon as possible," Welser said. "Time and common sense are often the difference between life and death."