How to keep your pet safe in hot temperatures

How to keep your pet safe in hot weather
Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 9:59 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Every year, when the temperatures get hot, we remind you to take care of your pets as they are at risk of heat exhaustion if they are outside too long.

One emergency veterinarian says they saw five dogs due to heat stroke on Saturday alone. Local Veterinarian Dr. Michelle Townsley shared some tips for keeping dogs safe with the upcoming heat.

Triple-digit heat is dangerous for the dog, and they are at risk of heat stroke if the temperature exceeds 80 degrees. Humidity also makes a difference, so a mix of heat and moisture can be a deadly combo for dogs.

“Heat exhaustion or heat stroke is a big deal,” said Dr. Townsley. “Many people think it needs to be temperatures in the 100′s, but I see them in May; any time it’s above 80. When we think it’s lovely, you’re basking and enjoying the sun. Your pet could be at risk.”

Some dogs are more prone to heat exhaustion than others, so it is also essential to be extra cautious about having certain breeds in the sun for too long. For example, pugs, boston terriers, pitbulls, bulldogs, and others are at a higher risk of heat stroke. Be sure to limit these breeds’ time in the sun to as little as possible.

“Half hour. 45 minutes. I mean, it’s fast,” Dr. Townsley said. “You might not even think about it. If you’re inside cooking, you’re inside doing whatever. It can happen before you know it.”

Dr. Townsley says there are a couple of signs that your dog is becoming overheated. Such as your pet’s gums and tongue becoming brighter than usual or if their limbs appear weaker.

Lastly, it is ideal for dogs to come inside in the air when the temperatures rise, but if they must stay outside, the most effective practice for keeping outdoor dogs safe is to give them lots of shade and water. And not just for drinking -- if your dog gets hot, they can cool off in the water.

Dr. Townsley said the most effective way to keep your dog safe is to monitor their body temperature with a thermometer. When in doubt, call a local vet.

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