With a heat advisory in effect through Thursday evening, Minneapolis Animal Care and Control is urging pet owners to take action to keep their pets safe.
Veterinarians say that by the time dogs exhibit the first symptoms of overheating, they are already experiencing discomfort. Signs of heat stroke in dogs include:
- Excessive panting or drooling
- Anxious or staring expressions
- Fast pulse
- Staggering gait
KEEPING YOUR PET COOL
Tips from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control and the Animal Humane Society
- Keep your pet inside and out of the direct sun.
- Be sure your pet has enough clean, cool water.
- Never leave your pet unattended in a parked car for any period of time. On a warm day, the temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in a matter of minutes -- even with the windows partially open. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.
- Limit exercise to morning or evening hours, especially with older pets, overweight pets and short-nosed dogs.
- If the ground is too hot for you to be barefoot, it is too hot for a dog. Hot asphalt can and does burn pet paws.
- Keeping pets well-groomed will help them regulate heat. Matted coats trap in the heat, but shaving may not be the best option since exposing the skin can result in sunburn.
- If you recognize any of the signs of heat stroke in your pet, immerse the animal in cool water or use a garden hose to bring down his or her body temperature and then call your veterinarian.
HELP A FURRY FRIEND OUT
If you see an animal outside or in a car exhibiting signs of heat stress, call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) immediately -- in Minneapolis, dial 311 (612-673-3000). If you believe the situation to be life-threatening, call 911.