Heatstroke is one of the biggest — and most deadly — dangers for pets. In some cases a dog can overheat in as little as 10 minutes. Look for these symptoms:
SIGNS OF HEATSTROKE: Heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heart beat, wet to the touch, lethargy, dizziness and disorientation, vomiting, excessive salivation, a deep red or purple tongue and labored breathing.
KEEPING COOL: Pets kept outside should have plenty of shade and cool water. If a pet does get too hot, help it cool down gradually, as a sudden drop in temperature can send the animal into shock. Letting pets wade in a kiddie pool, hosing them off and putting ice under their ears and groin are all good ways to get their temperature down.
Source: Dr. Cindi Bossart
Other helpful tips:
This means that if we choose to take our pets with us, we must make sure they’re not getting too hot and always have a bottle of water for Spot to drink.
Protect your dog’s paws Dogs’ paws can get burned on sidewalks, asphalt and sand if walked during peak sun and heat. So check the temperature of the surface with your hand before walking your dog — if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Walk during early morning or evening hours and never just after a meal. If you must walk your dog during the afternoon, make it short and keep him on the grass or at the water’s edge when at the beach to protect his paws.
Protect your dog from sunburn Many people don’t realize that dogs can get sunburn! It’s especially common in pale and short-haired dogs, usually on the bridge of the nose and tips of the ears as well as the belly, groin and insides of the legs (because of the sunlight that reflects up from the sidewalk and hot sand on the beach). Use a sunscreen — labeled specifically for use on animals — on your dog’s nose and his ear tips. You can’t put sunscreen on his underside because he’ll lick it off, so be careful when walking your dog or taking him to the beach in the hot sun. And if you shave your dog’s coat in the summer, be aware that it will make him more prone to sunburn.
Never leave your pet alone in a car during hot weather Simply parking in the shade or leaving the windows cracked is not enough. Windows collect light and trap heat inside the car, sending the temperature to dangerous and deadly levels rapidly. In many states, it’s against the law to leave a pet unattended in a parked vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the animal.
On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes!
Carry two car keys with you, so if you have to leave your dog in the car for even a few minutes, you can leave the engine running and the air conditioning on, with your dog inside and the doors locked. Take the second key with you so you can open the door when you return.
And if you see a pet in a parked car on a hot summer day, go to the nearest store to have the owner paged, enlist the help of a security guard or call the local police.