On the second day of a Southland heat wave, owners of dogs and cats were alerted Tuesday to take precautions to prevent their pets from falling victim to heat stroke.
Heat-related conditions in pets are serious, with dogs and cats working harder to keep cool, by panting or breathing rapidly, because they are unable to sweat through their skin, Los Angeles Animal Services officials said.
Some tips to keep in mind:
— pets with short noses, like Persian cats and bulldogs, are at greater risk than longer-nosed pets of suffering heat stroke, the symptoms of which include quick, noisy breathing; trouble swallowing and distressed expressions and behaviors;
— if heat stroke is suspected, place cold, wet towels onto the back of the pet’s head and towel-wrapped cold packs on the belly and between the back legs, and make sure to quickly get the animal to a veterinarian;
— buckets that hold a gallon or more of water stay cool longer than shallow bowls of water, and try adding ice cubes as a treat into the bowls;
— some dogs may enjoy getting their paws splashed with cool water, or taking a dip in a child’s wading pool;
— do not leave a dog or cat inside a vehicle for longer than five minutes, as an 85-degree Fahrenheit temperature outside could quickly heat up the inside of a car to as much as 102 degrees;
— be sensitive to pavement or sidewalks becoming hot enough to burn a dog’s paws;
— make sure pets have access to shade when outside;
— pets with darker coats absorb more heat, while lighter-coated pets could be vulnerable to sun burns and skin cancer; and
— long fur coats that have been brushed regularly serve as natural insulation from the heat, but if the coat is matted, arrange for a summer cut and watch out that the pet does not get sunburned.
— Wire reports