Kansas City – Aspeople brace for the heat wave that is forecasted to blanket the U.S. thisweek, veterinarians are urging pet owners to take precautions for their petsduring the sweltering days ahead.
These simple steps can help prevent your pet from takinga trip to the emergency room:
- Avoid physical activity during the heat of the day; keepexercise to the cooler mornings and evenings.
- Ensure your pet has access to plenty of water throughoutthe day and during times of exercise.
- Spray your pet down with room temperature or cool water,but never ice water. Ice cold water causes a decrease in blood flow to the skinand heat can't escape the body properly, which actually makes heat exhaustionsymptoms worse.
- Make sure pets are kept inside of air-conditioned spacesto avoid excess exposure to heat.
- When walking or jogging with your pet, try to avoidasphalt as your pet's paw pads can burn. Instead, stick to concrete, dirt orgrass, as those surfaces are less hot.
- Never leave your pet in a car unattended, even with theair conditioning running. If the air conditioning fails, your pet could easilyover-heat in as little as a few minutes.
- Don't give sports drinks or electrolyte supplements topets. Dogs cool off by panting and they do not sweat like people. Supplementslike sports drinks can actually harm animals and make pets sick.
Most importantly, be familiar with your pet and know whenthey aren't acting right.
Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and dark red gums are allsigns of heat related distress. If your pet is panting uncontrollably orcollapses, take the animal to your veterinarian or nearest emergency veterinaryhospital immediately.