The opening summer heat spike set Phoenix records on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Five deaths are attributed to the heat in the Valley. For your animals, this kind of heat can be just as, if not more, dangerous.
Dogs and cats regulate body temperature through panting, but if they can’t lower their body temperature, death is not far away.
“A good samaritan came in with a stray dog she had found who was overheated — really on dDeath’s door, a 108-degree body temperature,” said Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society. “Sadly, we were unable to save that dog’s life.”
Nelson says when the heat is this extreme, pets need to be inside in air conditioning and with plenty of water.
“… They don’t want to go on errands with you, they cannot be left unattended in a vehicle,” Nelson said. “If it’s hot for us just imagine how hot it is for our pets. They are covered in fur, their bodies are lower to the ground so the asphalt and the dirt heat up their bellies and they’re going to become overheated.”
Even taking your dog for its usual walk can be dangerous when temperatures are spiking.
In early May, the humane society’s emergency trauma hospital treated a dog that got out of its backyard and burned its paws right down to the pads running around on asphalt.
“There’s a great test we try to tell people: If you try to put your hand on the pavement for seven seconds and you can’t leave it there, then they can’t be out on the pavement either,” Nelson said.
On Tuesday alone, the society’s emergency animal medical technicians responded to 55 calls for help. More than half were for heat-related ailments. Nelson said many of the cases were “no water, no shelter, animals who are tethered out [side].”
The Humane Society says you’ve to be on the lookout for heat stress in dogs and cats.
- Aggressive panting
- Bright pink or red gums
- Pink or Red shading around the eyes
- Excessive Drooling
This is the time to get your pet help.
Remember, as Nelson explains, “Pets work to please us, they live to please us. My own dog, she doesn’t understand she can’t go play ball. She would go until she dropped dead.
“We need to understand when they can’t do their exercise when they need to cut it down or out completely because they aren’t going to quit until it’s too late. So we need to be the voice of reason for them.”
The Arizona Humane Society has plenty of information to help keep your pet safe during the scorching summer months, visit: azhumane.org.
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