Keep Your Hot Dogs (and Cats!) Cool

Seattle Humane would like to remind pet owners to keep their furry friends safe during the hot weather season.

Going for a long drive with your best friend is one of the joys of summer. Just remember that even in Seattle, the interior of a car cat hit 160 degrees in less than five minutes – that means parking in the shade with the windows cracked just won’t do. It’s easy to get distracted and leave your pet waiting longer than intended, and not worth the risk.

Heat stroke develops rapidly and can lead to severe problems like organ failure and even death. Pets with shorter noses, like bulldogs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heatstroke than breeds with longer noses as there is less area for heat to evaporate.

Even leaving your dog for “just a minute” may be too long. A dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a very short period of time before suffering brain damage — or even death.

Consider your pet’s housing. If they are kept outdoors, make sure they have shade and fresh water access at all times. If you live in a warm climate, it is a good idea to hose down the dog before work, at lunch or whenever you can to provide extra cooling.

Signs of heat stroke in a pet include heavy panting, agitation, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, staggering, vomiting and a deep red or purple tongue. If an animal becomes overheated, place him in a cool place and apply cool (not cold) water all over his body. Apply ice packs or cold towels only to the head, neck and chest. Let him drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes and take him immediately to a veterinarian. DO NOT wait to see if your pet improves – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.