This week on Pet Doc, News 2’s Nikki Burdine and Dr. Staci Cannon with Metro Animal Care and Control discuss the best ways to keep your pets safe when it’s really, really hot outside.
Nikki Burdine: Today we are talking heat safety with your pets. It’s getting to be those summer months. We need to make sure our pets are safe whether they are inside or outside. Dr. Cannon, what do we need to know?
Dr. Staci Cannon: It’s definitely, it’s getting warm, we are getting up into the 80’s and 90’s.
So things to think about for our pets when they are outside: Make sure they have access to shade, they have access to water. They need shelter as well if they are outside unattended. Those are our Metro ordinances.
Your dogs cannot be tethered if the temperature or heat index is over 95 degrees. That’s very important to keep an eye on as well. At that point, you are really worried about heat stroke and heat exhaustion. They need to be kept inside and have access to shade.
Other things to consider: You think you are running into the store for a really quick minute. The temperatures inside the car can get really high, very quickly. That can be deadly for our pets. We should not be leaving our dogs or cats inside a locked car that doesn’t have the AC running in the summer months. Those are common calls we get to rescue those pets that are in distress.
The other thing to keep in mind is just when we are out and about and interacting with our dogs during the summer, what are the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke to be aware of?
Those are things like excessive panting, drooling, if their gums start to turn purple or blue, the dog might actually collapse because dogs can’t sweat. They can only pant, that’s the only way they have to cool their body, so if they become overheated, and they get a heat stroke that can be deadly very, very rapidly.
So if your dog is showing any signs of heat stroke and it’s really hot and they have been too active, the most important thing to do is cool them down and that would be with water from a hose, just tepid water and then getting them to a veterinarian right away for treatment.
Nikki Burdine: Alright. And if you do see an animal that’s in distress Metro Animal Care and Control does wonderful work going out and checking those calls. Don’t just say ‘it’s none of my business.’ Give them a call and they will go out and check and make sure the dog has adequate water, has adequate shelter and is not locked in a car because you could be saving a life. Do you know that number off the top of your head?
Dr. Cannon: Sure, it’s 615-862-7928.
Nikki: Save that number in your phone for the summer!
For more Pet Doc with Nikki Burdine and adoptable pets from MACC, click here.