1. Walk dogs in the early morning or at dusk
If you want to walk your dog, pick cooler times of day, like early mornings or evenings at dusk. Pick shady areas if possible. Feel the pavement with your palm flat against it for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
2. Drink lots of Water
Be sure your pets have plenty of fresh cool water available.
3. Watch for signs of Heatstroke
Larger breeds are more susceptible to heatstroke. By the time the temperature reaches 85, almost every dog breed is susceptible to negative effects of the heat. Pets with short snouts, very young, elderly or those with thick or dark coats are extremely ill-equipped to deal with the heat.
4. Watch their tongue
Try to keep dogs from overheating by watching their tongue. A slightly panting tongue is normal. A tongue that is wide and hanging low (I call it bologna tongue), or hanging to one side is a sure sign that it’s time to take a break in the shade and get some water, before it’s too late. Dogs sweat through their tongues and foot pads, so try to splash water on their feet when they get hot. And cool water all over their body or a cool soaked towel (not cold) will bring their body temperature down.
5. Never leave your pet in a car
Even with windows open a crack, the temperature inside gets hot quickly. When temperature outside is 70, the inside of your car can be 90. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside can reach 102 in 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes a car’s temperature can rise from 85 to 120 degrees.
Signs of heatstroke are:
- Heavy panting, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst
- Bright red tongue & mucous membranes, which turn grey if in shock
- Thick saliva, drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Unsteadiness or staggering
If a dog or cat’s temperature is:
- 100-102.5 = normal
- about 103 = heat exhaustion
- 105 – 109 = heatstroke