Veterinarian encourages pet safety during hot weather

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – While the community enjoys the warm weather, it’s important to remember keeping your pets safe when it gets too hot. 

The warm weather has been a fantastic thing to enjoy in recent weeks, but some that might not enjoy it as much are your dogs, especially ones with heavy coats. Katie Faulkner, a veterinarian in Fayetteville, says many people forget just how easy it is for their pets to get heat stroke in the warm weather. 

“If a person is hot outside, your dog is essentially wearing a fur coat and also they’re the same temperature as you are. So it’s important to keep in mind that they don’t regulate their heat quite as well as we do when we’re outside in hot weather.”

Some dogs are more prone to excessive heat than others. Any large dogs with heavy coats or smaller dogs with breathing issues like pugs are much more likely to become dehydrated when outside on hot days. 

“Signs of dehydration and heat intolerance would be excessive panting, if they are kind of laying down and not really wanting to get up and walk any further, if their gums or their mucus membranes get really red.”

Another thing to look out for is the pavement. On average, asphalt is 40 to 60 degrees hotter than the air. Although dogs have pads on their feet, many dogs are still susceptible to the immense heat that asphalt absorbs. 

“If it’s too hot for a person to walk on, it’s probably uncomfortable for dogs as well and especially if they are stimulated for prolonged times. Not to mention there are some dogs that really aren’t used to being on any surfaces other than the carpets and cooled surfaces of their house.” 

According to Faulkner, pets still love the bright summer days just like people, but it’s still important to keep an eye on your pets and watch for signs of discomfort and dehydration.

Another thing to avoid is leaving your pets in cars, even for a short time. Hundreds of pets die each year from being left alone in hot cars.