Santa Clarita, Calif., May 16, 2014 — Even though summer is only a month away, several U.S. states are already experiencing above normal temperatures and early season heat waves. Heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Although there are no official statistics regarding heat-related deaths among dogs and cats, Animal Behavior College (ABC) Animal Behavior College (ABC) encourages pet owners to prepare now to ensure they protect their dogs and cats from heat’s devastating effects. National Heat Awareness Day on Friday, May 23, serves as a great reminder.
“Summer is one of the busiest seasons for most people,” said Steven Appelbaum, president and CEO of Animal Behavior College. “Between working long hours, taking vacations and enjoying activity-filled days, it is easy for dog and cat owners to forget that extreme heat can be potentially fatal. Owners should prepare now and take extra precautions to ensure their pets are comfortable and safe.”
ABC offers the following five readiness tips to help your pet beat the heat and other summer safety-related concerns:
Prevent Heat Stroke. Even though dogs and cats have fur to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer, sizzling temperatures can cause them to overheat. As their body temperature increases, it cannot accommodate the excessive external heat. These extreme temperatures can lead to heat stroke resulting in multiple organ dysfunctions. Keep your pet out of the heat and in a cool, shaded area. Be sure your pet has access to fresh, cool water. If your pet shows any symptoms of distress, see your veterinarian immediately.
Prevent Sun Burn. Sunscreen is not just for humans. White dogs and cats and those that have thin or no hair is more susceptible to sunburn. To keep your canine companion sunburn free use pet safe sunscreens and keep him out of the sun. Consult your veterinarian before applying sunburn to your cat as some sunblocks contain potentially harmful ingredients. Limit sun exposure.
Avoid Dog Walks on Hot Pavement. Pavement can get extremely hot and can cause lacerations, paw infections and burnt pads. Often times, the injury is not apparent to the human eye. When walking your dog, do so when temperatures are at their coolest, such as early morning or late evening. Always walk your dog in shaded areas, preferably on the grass.
Keep Your Pet Safe Around Water. Not all dogs are good swimmers. Keep a watchful eye on them around swimming pools, lakes or any other body of water. Have plenty of fresh water available so your dog does not drink water from the pool. Visit the Animal Behavior College blog, for more tips about Dog Water Safety