We all love spending the long days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger.
To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions:
- Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal. (California Penal Code Section 597.7 PC: Leaving a Pet Unattended in a Vehicle).
- Visit the vet for summer checkup.
- Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors.
- Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the Sun and be careful not to over-exercise them.
Know the symptoms of overheating in pets:
- Excessive panting or difficulty breathing.
- Increased heart and respiratory rate.
- Drooling, mild weakness, stupor, or even collapse.
Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept in a cool environment as much as possible.
Properties with swimming pools, introduce your pets to water gradually. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool as not all dogs are good swimmers. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
Opening windows and doors are common during hot weather to cool down your home. This can pose an opportunity to escape and can be a real danger to your pets. Make sure your window and door screens are properly secured.
Grooming your dog by trimming longer hair can help them stay cool, but never shave your dog. The layers of a dog’s coat protects them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
When the temperature is very high, exercise your dog in the morning or in the evening. Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. Walking your dog on hot asphalt during peak temperatures mid-day can lead to heat stroke, burns, and sensitive paw pads.
Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape by making sure your pet is wearing a current pet license and ID tag. Also get a microchip implant for your pet and have a current photograph of your furry companion.
If your pet is lost, or if you find a pet in the City Monterey Park, you can contact Monterey Park Police Department Animal Services at 626-307-1217. All animals that are picked up in the city are taken to the LA County Animal Shelter in Downey at 11258 S. Garfield Avenue, Downey, CA 90242, phone 562-940-6898.
Animal Services Officer William Estrada, Monterey Park Police Department