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Hot Times in the City – Summer Safety

Heat injuries and heat stroke can be common occurrences for our pets in the summer but these situations are avoidable by being proactive and well prepared.
It is so much fun going for walks on a nice summer day and what better companion than your four-legged friend? However, the temperature of the asphalt rises dramatically on a hot summer day. Absorbing warmth from the sun, asphalt temperatures can sometimes reach 60 degrees Celsius, which can cause severe burns and blisters on the pads of your dog’s feet. Avoid having your pet run or walk on asphalt, allowing them to take the boulevard’s grass instead. If running on asphalt is unavoidable, best to be done in the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. Booties for feet can also be used and may be helpful. Have a folding water bowl and fresh water available to keep your pet well hydrated.
Leaving a pet in a parked car in summer is dangerous and can be deadly!
Rising temperatures, humidity, radiant light from the sun and decreased airflow are all factors that increase the risk of heat stroke. When a pet is left in a car in summer months, these factors come into play at high levels. Leaving windows open a crack is not nearly enough to allow for comfortable conditions. Even just a few minutes left in a car can be dangerous. The temperature rises quickly inside a car, increasing the humidity. This is hastened if parked in the direct sunlight, such as in a parking lot. Temperatures inside the car can be up to 20 degrees hotter than outside.
Signs of heat stroke or heat injuries are lethargy, excessive panting and not able to calm. Pets experiencing heat injuries may not want to drink but dehydration is a major concern. Correcting dehydration with IV fluids is sometimes needed. NEVER dunk your pet in cold water, as this can cause shock and vasoconstriction of peripheral blood vessels. Instead, use a damp or wet towel under their belly and arm pit area and provide other external cooling sources like shade, air conditioning or fans.
If you think your pet is experiencing heat stroke or a heat injury, please contact us at 604-898-9089.


Garibaldi Veterinary Hospital