This week has seen for the City of Atlanta and its surrounding area. Sunday afternoon, highs reached 106 degrees, which is the highest ever recorded temperature for the city.
There are many precautions you and your family can take to stay safe in this oppressive heat, but have you considered that your pets also require special care to keep them happy and healthy through the dog days of summer?
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the risk of animals getting sick or even dying because of improper care during the hottest parts of the day is a very serious threat.
The ASPCA has provided some useful safety tips meant to help get you and your pets through the heat no worse for wear.
- Keep Cool: Make sure your pet has a spot in the shade to cool off under when it gets hot outside. Additionally, provide plenty of water for your pets, as they can become dehydrated very quickly. Don't let your dogs rest too long on hot asphalt, as this can make the heat worse for them, burning paw pads and raising internal temperatures. NEVER LEAVE A PET INSIDE A CAR, EVEN WITH THE WINDOWS DOWN!
- How to Spot Overheating: The symptoms of overheating or heat stroke may not be as apparent as they are in humans, but pets can still give telltale signs that they're in trouble. If your pet starts drooling excessively, has trouble breathing, becomes weak or has a body temperature over 104 degrees, it's time to get them inside. Short-snouted dogs such as pugs, bulldogs, and cats such as Persian cats have a hard time panting (the animal equivalent of sweating), so these animals must be kept especially safe during hot times.
- Get a Pet Checkup: It's always a good idea to bring your pet in for a spring checkup, or an early summer checkup at the latest. Ask your veterinarian to ensure your pet's vaccinations are up to date. Additionally, ask for a blood test for heartworm. The usual preventative measures against heartworms should still be observed.
- Leave Pets at Home During Fireworks Shows: Explosions and pretty colors may seem like a blast to humans, but they're downright terrifying for animals! Adding to the loud sounds is the danger of burns and the toxicity of explosives such as potassium nitrate.
- Pool Safety: It can be very fun for your dog to relax by the pool and cool off with a nice dip. However, never leave your dog unattended as he or she may not be the best swimmer. Try to make sure your dog doesn't drink any chlorinated pool water, and always keep him or her away from the concentrated pool chemicals, which are deadly to pets. If your dog or cat does ingest something poisonous, call the ASPCA'S Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
With these handy tips in hand, summer can be an amazing time for you, your family and your pets!