Too Hot to Trot

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Protect Your Pet!

The desert is beautiful. It can also be deadly. In our region of the country, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a real risk for animals, who don’t process heat as efficiently as we humans. The only way they have to release heat is by panting, which they can’t do quickly enough to cool themselves down in extremely hot weather.

If your pet spends anything more than just a few minutes of “potty-time” outdoors this time of year, it’s important to know the signs of heat exhaustion—also known as heat stress—to prevent it from becoming potentially fatal heatstroke. Watch for:

  • Anxiousness
  • Excessive panting
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Unsteadiness
  • Abnormal gum and tongue color

These symptoms can quickly advance to heat stroke, which can bring on collapse, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea.

You can easily prevent your pet from suffering from heat exhaustion and other heat-related injuries. Remember:

  • If it’s hot outside for you, it’s even hotter for your pet, so exercise your dog in the cooler early morning and evening hours.
  • Phoenix has a ban on hiking with pets when temperatures reach 100 degrees or more, but even that’s too hot for most animals.
  • Bring along plenty of cool water for both of you while outdoors and seek frequent shade.
  • Hot asphalt is as dangerous to your pet’s pads as it is to your own bare feet. Before heading out, put your own palm where you plan to walk. If you can’t hold it there for five seconds, you shouldn’t walk your dog on it.
  • Never, ever leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, not even in the shade or with the windows cracked. On a sunny 70-degree day, your car can become a 100-degree oven in just minutes.

If you notice your pet showing any of the signs of heat exhaustion, seek shade, offer water, and call us at (480) 893-8423 as soon as possible—we’re here to help!