Pet Heat Safety Tips for Tulsa, OK

Cats and dogs are loyal and tireless companions, and many times, they go above and beyond to please us—especially our dogs! While this kind of love is truly cherished, we have to recognize that sometimes it can lead to some trouble. Dogs especially are driven to please us, and can sometimes over-exert themselves in the process. This can be dangerous in the hot weather of Tulsa, OK. Both dogs and cats are vulnerable to heatstroke because they do not sweat like we do, but pant instead, which is far less effective at expelling heat. Therefore, on especially hot days, it’s important to take extra precautions for pet heat safety to ensure your companion stays cool in the Oklahoma sun!

How to Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

  • Keep an eye on the humidity levels during the summer. The moisture in the air makes it even more difficult for your pet to regulate their body temperature. If the humidity is high, limit your pet’s time outdoors.
  • Take your daily walks earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest times of day.
  • Stay off the asphalt on warm days. The blacktop can reach temperatures that can burn your pet’s paws, and the heat radiating off of it can even raise your pet’s body temperature since they are so close to the ground.
  • Do not completely shave your pet in the summer. While a nice summer trim will be appreciated, shaving can do more harm than good since your pet actually uses its coat to regulate their body temperature by trapping cooler air close to the body.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car, even on a mild day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 10 minutes. Don’t risk it. Leave your pet at home or take them out with you.
  • If your pet is outside for any amount of time on a hot day, make sure they have ample water to drink and shade to rest in. Setting up a small kiddie pool full of water can also help them stay cool!

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion & Stroke

Heat exhaustion precedes heatstroke and it’s important to recognize these early signs so you can act fast and keep a bad situation from getting worse.

Signs of heat exhaustion may include:

  • Temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or above
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Excessive panting
  • Lethargy/unresponsiveness
  • Staggering or uncoordinated movement
  • Unusually pale or reddened gums

In the case of heatstroke, your pet may also experience:

  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Organ damage

If you notice the signs of heat exhaustion, get your pet to a cooler area immediately. Place cool, wet towels around their neck, belly, and groin area to help them cool down and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. It’s important for your pet to be seen at a veterinary hospital, even if they seem to begin to recover to ensure no lasting internal damage has been done. In the event you notice signs of heatstroke, don’t hesitate – bring them straight to our 24/7 emergency animal hospital.

For any questions about heatstroke in pets, please contact us at (918) 665-0508.