The heat isn't just a problem for people; pets are also susceptible to the triple-digit temperatures.
Veterinarian Todd Yeagley, with Woodland West Animal Hospital, said pet owners should keep an eye on animals when they are outside in the summer heat.
Signs that an animal is beginning to overheat include heavy panting, foaming saliva and staggering. Other signs include elevated body temperature and heart rate, unresponsive behavior, vomiting and diarrhea.
"It's a bigger issue for pets who have respiratory issues," Yeagley said, such as dogs with compact faces like bull dogs and pugs. "All dogs are susceptible."
His included. One summer his Labrador retriever became overheated.
"It was humid and she wasn't acclimated to the heat," he said.
If someone's dog does exhibit signs of overheating, get the animal water, get the dog wet and then take it to a veterinarian because even if it begins to recover, the animal could have problems later and may have internal damage, Yeagley said.
Animals that stay outside during the day should have access to water and shade, and ideally a cool place indoors such as a garage.
Also, take dogs for walks during the coolest times of the day, the early morning or late evening. The hot pavement of a sidewalk or street can also burn the pads of paws.
"On those really hot days, maybe just skip the walk that day," he said.
Getting dogs clipped, especially those with longer hair, can be a good idea as well, Yeagley said, but sunburns can become an issue, so take dogs to professional groomers.
Zookeepers at the Tulsa Zoo apply the same guidelines to the animals in their care.
Angela Evans, director of marketing and public relations at the zoo, said when it gets hot, animals have access to their indoor areas, which are ventilated with fans or chillers.
"Each animal has different temperature levels, but at these temperatures, every animal has (indoor) access," Evans said.
Some animals, such as the bears, also have water sprinklers or pools in their exhibits to help them cool down.
Zookeepers also offer cooler enrichment like blood popsicles for lions, fishsicles for sea lions and fruit popsicles for chimps, she said.
"The best time to come is first thing in the morning," Evans said, and for the second year the zoo is opening at 7 a.m., two hours earlier then normal, through Labor Day so visitors can take advantage of the coolest part of the day.
"Last year, 20 percent of our attendance in July and August came before 9 a.m.," she said. "People are taking advantage of that." Heat safety tips for pets Outdoor pets should have access to shade and a supply of cool water.
Pets kept indoors need good ventilation and air movement with fans, open doors and windows.
Don't leave animals in cars, where temperatures can reach 120 to 150 degrees in the summer. If you travel with your pet, make sure it is properly restrained.
Don't exercise your dog in the heat of the day. Even if your dog is in good shape, it can become easily overheated in hot, humid weather.
Signs of overheating include elevated body temperature and heart rate, increased breathing rate, unresponsive behavior, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea.
If heat stress occurs, move the animal to a cooler area or in the shade and call a veterinarian immediately.
SOURCE: Oklahoma State University Veterinary Hospital
Most Popular Stories
- Social Media Campaign Increases Organ Donor Registrations
- Airport Garners Social Media Award
- What Will Happen When Quantitative Easing Ends?
- MillerCoors Taps New Hispanic Ad Agency
- Aetna Leaving California's Individual Health Insurance Market
- Immigration Reform Would Decrease U.S. Budget Deficit
- Calories Count: Starbucks to Post the Numbers on Menu Boards
- Honda Says Sorry About the Lack of Electric Fits
- Patriots' Aaron Hernandez Questioned in Slaying
- President Obama Hints at Bernanke Exit