pet news

MAY 14, 2014

Onset of high temperatures poses dangers to pets

Tips to keep pets safe
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aawl logoPHOENIX — As temperatures climb back into the 90s this weekend and beyond, the Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) is reminding pet owners not to leave animals in their cars and offering other ways to keep them safe.

Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads of their feet. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

Reminders for pet owners:

Never leave your pets in a car. When temperatures rise above 70°, a parked car can quickly become a furnace. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes. Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.

In the state of Arizona is it against the law to leave an animal in a parked car if injury or death can be a result.

Beware of hot pavement. Before walking, test the pavement − if it’s too hot for the palm of your hand or your bare feet, it's too hot for your dog's paws too!

Be careful not to over-exercise your pet. Only walk your dog early in the morning or at night well after the sun has set.

Make sure pets have a shady place to get out of the sun. If your dog must be outside during the day, be sure that he has shade available at all times, and remember, what is shady in the morning might not be shady in the afternoon. Keep pets indoors if the temperature is over 90 degrees.

Be sure to give pets plenty of water. At all times provide cool, clean water in a nonmetal, spill-proof bowl.

Dogs get sunburns too. Be sure no skin is exposed to direct sunlight.

Cool treats for your dog

Treat your pet to "popsicles" by freezing chicken or beef broth in ice cube trays; add bits of doggie treats before freezing.

Or, use the hose to give your dog a bath and some summer fun. Be sure to let the water run until cool before spraying you or your pet.