As Arizona heat surges, know how to keep your pets safe

Jul 15, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: Jul 16, 2023, 7:29 am

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Keeping your cool in the heat is hard, especially in the scorching Arizona heat.

Dr. Tara Murphy, medical director of the Veterinary Emergency Group in Chandler, talked about what to watch out for with as the soaring temperatures start to effect our furry friends.

“Pets can’t really sweat as effectively [as humans],” Murphy told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

What are signs of heatstroke in pets?

When it comes to signs of potential heatstroke, Murphy said “we tend to see signs of like labored breathing or more effort with their breathing. They might start to pant excessively. You might see sort of increased drooling.

“They start to have a bit of a dull mentation or they’re not as responsive as we expect them to be. They may even collapse. We can see vomiting or diarrhea and even signs of bleeding. So bruising, particularly on the gums, can be a sign and of that.”

Heatstroke isn’t the only problem to look out for with dogs and cats. Murphy also warns about having your pets on the hot ground.

“I think it’s something we sometimes don’t think about quite as much [is] our pets’ paws on the sidewalks in that sun,” Murphy said. “It can get very hot, very quickly. And so we need to be aware of that because we can burn their paws on the sidewalk.”

What to do if a pet is suffering from the heat?

There are steps to take to keep your dog or cat safe if it is suffering from heat-related illness.

Murphy says to start by getting them to a cooler area with some shade quickly. However, if pet owners begin to see significant signs of illness, try to get cool water on their body; but don’t let the animal submerge their face or inhale the water.

If you have any concerns, the best thing you can do, Murphy says, is to get your pet to a vet.

“Get them to a vet or give a call to a veterinarian right away so that you can assess the need for the pet to be seen,” she said. “If you call [our] veterinary emergency group, if you’re concerned that your pet is exhibiting signs of heatstroke, you can speak with a doctor right away that can help kind of direct you on next steps as well.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.

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As Arizona heat surges, know how to keep your pets safe