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Keeping your pets safe in the heat

It’s that time of year when families, including their pets, start spending more time outdoors and temperatures begin to rise. Haven Humane’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Cyanna Howden, wants you to know how to help prevent your pet from suffering from a heatstroke and how to identify the signs if your pet is suffering from a heatstroke.

As temperatures begin to increase, pet owners should restrict run or play time outside to allow their pets to acclimate. It can take your pet between 10 and 20 days to partially acclimate but it can take up to two months for your pet to fully acclimate.

Dogs that are more prone to heatstroke include ones with laryngeal paralysis, dogs with short noses, obesity, and/or cardiovascular disease as well as older dogs or those with a dark or dense hair coat.

Signs that your pet could be suffering from a heatstroke include:

  • Panting

  • Heavy Breathing

  • Fast Heart Rate

  • Bright Red Gums

Studies have shown that pets cooled by their owners before arriving at the hospital can have a lower mortality rate than those whose owners do not attempt to cool their pets.

Ways to externally cool your pet if you begin noticing signs of a heatstroke include spraying your dog with lukewarm water, offering your dog water, and immediately taking your dog to the veterinarian with either the windows down or the air conditioning on.


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