At Amelia Pointe Animal Hospital & Daycare in Fernandina Beach, we see a lot of pets suffering from dehydration and heatstroke. This condition can be fatal or pets and can happen quickly. The good news is it can almost always be prevented so long as some preventative measures by pet owners are taken. We may not feel hot, but our pets are affected differently than we are by heat, especially on beaches during the summer months. Pay close attention to what is going on with your pets in summer, and call your veterinarian immediately if you think they are having a heat stroke. Here are some ways to avoid letting dehydration and heatstroke affect your pets.
Cars and heat
Never leave your pets alone in a car, especially if the temperature outside is higher than 70 degrees. Even in 80-degree weather, a closed car can reach an internal temperature of over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. There is also no air circulating, which makes it more uncomfortable for your pet. Leaving the engine running with the air conditioner on could be acceptable for a few seconds, but there are plenty of dangers with that. Your car could stop running or there could be some other mechanical breakdown that would put your pet in peril. It is also never a good idea to leave your pet unattended with the windows down.
We often don't realize how hot the ground is. On a 90-degree day, a sidewalk, or the sand on the beach, can be well over 100 degrees. Your pet's paws feel that heat much more intensely than you do with your shoes on. Pets can also get dehydrated quickly walking on a hot sidewalk or on the street.
Helping your pet
If a pet is dehydrated, that can be fixed fairly easily by giving them water. Pay attention to your pets' water intake and make sure to offer them plenty of it when you are outside in summer. Excessive panting, red gums, drooling, increased heart rate, diarrhea, or vomiting really symptoms of heatstroke. Pets in this situation should be seen by a veterinarian even if they appear to recover, just to make sure everything has been resolved.
If you think your pet is having a heat stroke, immediately cool them off as much as you can. Don't apply ice-cold water to your pets, but cool water will help. Call Amelia Pointe Animal Hospital & Daycare in Fernandina Beach if your pet does not respond well to cooling off measures you have tried.