How to keep animals cool and safe during a heat wave

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“Every year we say it, and every year people forget,” Dr. Klein said.

An animal that is very old, very young or has underlying health conditions is more at risk of heat stroke and exhaustion when temperatures rise, Dr Hoggan said. Dog and cat breeds with thicker coats, such as huskies, golden retrievers and Siberian cats, are also at risk.

Animals with shorter snouts and “squashed” or squashed faces — such as pugs, English and French bulldogs, Boston terriers, and Persian and Himalayan cats — are extremely sensitive to heat, Dr. Teller said. These animals are not able to pant as efficiently and therefore may have difficulty regulating their temperature. Make sure they spend as little time as possible outdoors, she advised.

If your pet is panting excessively, has thick, viscous saliva, acts unusually lethargic, is vomiting, or has diarrhea, seek treatment immediately. In dogs, signs of heat stroke also include a dark red tongue and brick red gums. For cats, open mouth breathing may indicate that they are overheated.

Animals suffering from heat exhaustion or heatstroke may also act confused, Dr. Teller said. Cats and dogs may not respond to their names or simple commands, and some may falter. “They may not seem to be completely on board,” she said.

Do not delay care if your pet shows these signs. Dampen towels with cold water — not ice cold water, which can constrict blood vessels — and wrap them around your pet. You can also buy cooling vests at pet stores, Dr. Teller said. Take your pet to a veterinarian or animal hospital as soon as possible. The Red Cross has a pet safety app with instructions for animal first aid, as well as a directory of local animal emergency resources.

“You don’t want to make a mistake that could cost you your pet’s life,” Ms Wilkes said.

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