MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – With the warm weather comes a whole different set of concerns from pet owners. Summer allergies, bugs and ticks, and heat related issues affect our pets in the summer too. Dr. Edward Brauer III is a Vet with Marquette Veterinary Clinic, he says heat stroke is a major concern for pets during the summer.
“Each breed of dog is going to of course tolerate heat to a certain degree,” Dr. Brauer explained, “For example, some really big hairy dogs suffer from more consequences of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Or even ones that have shorter snouts don’t do a good job at thermoregulating compared to dogs with longer snouts”
Dr. Brauer says to keep your pets safe and cool this summer, try to limit walks and outdoor exercise to morning and evening hours when the temperatures are cooler. Make sure your pet has access to shade and fresh water when you’re spending time outside. He also says it’s also important to check the temperature of the sidewalks before letting your pets walk on it: If it’s too hot your your hands, it’s too hot for your pets paws.
“Asphalt is very hot, especially once you start pushing over 75 degrees.” Dr. Brauer says, “That asphalt can get as hot as up to 125 degrees here, you can pretty much fry an egg on that pavement if it’s pushing over 131 degrees.”
A parked car in direct sunlight can reach temperatures over 100 degrees in just 10 minutes. Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt says some of the most frequent calls they get are about pets being left in cars.
“People wanna take their animals wherever they go and they put their animal in the car and go into the store,” Sheriff Zybert says, “and it can only take a minutes before a dog or a cat or an animal, where they are overheated and can cause impairment or death.”
If you are worried your pet may be experiencing heat stroke, Dr. Brauer says it’s important to make sure you know the signs. He says dogs will have problems where they get dizzy, start vomiting or they might have some stress induced diarrhea when overheating. You should contact your veterinarian if they’re experiencing seizures here or falling over and becoming unresponsive. You can use cool water, either to drink, on a towel, or take them for a swim to cool them down.