Friday, July 1, 2016 | NHS Staff
We know that dogs in hot cars are a lethal combination—but what is the cut off temperature? Is doggie sunblock really necessary? And are his footpads tough enough to withstand hot asphalt?
NHS Animal Control will check on dogs in cars once the air temperature reaches 73 degrees. We know that doesn’t seem extremely hot, but your car can quickly heat up. If you spend just 10 minutes inside the grocery store, your car’s interior can reach 90 degrees.
The simple answer is yes! Pets with pink skin, and white hair are especially susceptible to sunburn--as are noses, ears, tummies and areas that don’t have much hair. Check with your veterinarian for a non-irritating zinc oxide type sunblock that you can apply 20 minutes before he or she goes outside--even if it’s just to potty. *Salon tip here: If your shaggy dog gets a summer cut leave at least a quarter inch of hair to protect skin.
Heat Stress Signals are the same for dogs and cats. Panting that lasts more than a few minutes, pacing, increased heart rate, respiratory distress, lethargy. Get him into ventilated shade, or, better yet, air conditioning, cool him down with wet towels on his belly and “armpits” and call your vet. *Oddly enough, cats affected by heat will often drink less when they should drink more. Add few ice cubes to his water bowl or dab a little water on the corner of his mouth encourage him to drink.
Hard surfaces absorb heat and then radiate it. Darker colors compound that effect. Blacktop, sand, decks and even sidewalks can blister your pet’s pads. Look for grass, dirt, or paths in the shade when picking a walking route. A good rule of thumb: if it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too toasty for his.
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