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Summer heat is dangerous to pets, they warn from FOUR PAWS


© FOUR PAWS | Robert Scholtze

It is expected in the coming days the thermometers across the country to record the highest levels of temperatures for the year. It is well known that the summer heat is dangerous to humans, but many do not take into account the risk the high temperatures bring to pets. From the Bulgarian branch of the international animal welfare organization Four Paws remind that animals suffer from the same health problems as humans. Older animals and those with heart problems are more sensitive to heat and for them it is not recommended to be left in the sun for a long time.

"The most important thing is that on a hot summer day the pet should not be kept in the sun for a long time and it should have constant access to water for drinking", explains Dr. Marina Ivanova from Four Paws. "You should avoid leaving your dog or cat alone in the car - at 37 degrees outside, the temperature inside a closed vehicle reaches 60 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you still need to leave an animal in a closed vehicle, you should park in the shade, slightly open at least one window and return back soon".


Dogs should not be walked out in the hottest hours of the day and long walks with much physical exercise can also be dangerous. More and more people go to the sea with their dogs both at home and abroad. If you cannot leave your pet in the hotel or at rented room during the day and take the pet with you to the beach, you should provide fresh drinking water and shade, and regularly spray it with water.  

In summer, animals most frequently suffer from the so called "overheating", which is increased body temperature after long exposure to high outside temperatures or strong sunlight. The signs are shortness of breath, sore tongue, gums and conjunctiva, increased body temperature, unsteady gait and vomiting. In a manifestation of one of these signs immediate measures must be taken - the animal must be moved in the shade or in a chilled room, to be given water to drink, to be moistened with lukewarm water or its head to be covered with a wet cloth. If unconscious - to be taken to the nearest veterinary office where it will be put on systems and will undergo shock therapy. Rapid intervention at the first signs of heat stroke is life-saving as it can cause brain swelling and death of the animal. Most prone to "overheating" are puppies up to 6 months of age, elderly dogs (for large breeds - over 7 years, for smaller - over 14 years), dogs with thick fur or overweight, dogs of northern breeds or with short snouts.  

"The cause of heat strokes in pets is almost always the same - pet owners do not realize how dangerous heat can be for their pets," continues Dr. Ivanova. "Most often "overheated" are animals left in closed space with poor ventilation, such as cars and windows in pet shops, and dog tied to a chain, which are not provided shade and water."