In addition to keeping pets safe at home in hot weather, the BCSPCA recommends the following to keep pets safe in hot weather:
• Keep exercise to a minimum in the heat and if you are taking your dog for a walk or run do it early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler
• Make sure you always have plenty of water for your pet – always keep them hydrated.
• Let your dog walk on grass or dirt if possible as hot pavement can burn your pet’s paws.
• If you have pets who are outdoors (this also applies to horses and farm animals) ensure they have access to shade, shelter and easy access to water.
• If you have smaller pets at home who are in cages (hamsters, etc) make sure their cages are not near a window or in direct sunlight.
If your dog shows symptoms of heatstroke, you should do the following:
• Immediately move the animal to a cool, shady place
• Wet the dog with cool water
• Fan vigorously to promote evaporation. This will cool the blood, which reduces the animal’s core temperature.
• Do not apply ice. This constricts blood flow, which will inhibit cooling.
• Allow the dog to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available)
• Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.
“Your dog will be much happier – and safer – at home, with shade and plenty of fresh cool water,” says the BCSPCA’s Lorie Chortyk. “It is such a preventable tragedy.”