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Heat wave poses serious risk for animals, especially dogs

An expert from the University of Guelph has tips on how to keep your pet safe and cool
OSPCA supplied photo

If the current heat wave isn't easy for you to handle - imagine being covered in fur!

Professor Shane Bateman is an emergency and critical care specialist at the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre.

He says all animals are at risk of heat-related injury when we experience these high temperatures, but dogs are most at risk.

In a release, Bateman notes dogs love to be active and will actually run and play until they exhaust and dehydrate themselves.

"Cats are different. They make their own decisions about how much they exert themselves. Cats also have unique vascular adaptations that enable them to tolerate heat because they can shift their blood supply around their bodies."

Dogs face another specific challenge, as injury can accelerate quickly because dogs 'pant' to cool themselves - which in itself is a form of exertion. 

Bateman offers another timely reminder to never leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even if it's just for a few minutes. 

Signs of overheating include your animal making more noise, an expression of panic or anxiety on their face, wide eyes with dilating pupils, bright red gums, and drooling with a long, relaxed tongue.

If your animal becomes sleepy or dazed and starts vomitting, you need to get them in an air-conditioned car and take them to the closest animal hospital.

You can see full tips from Professor Bateman by clicking here


Erin Anderson

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