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SPCA issues hot weather reminders designed to keep pets safe

Jun 14, 2024 | In the News

Temperatures are predicted to be in the high 80s/low 90s in Buffalo and the surrounding area very soon. It’s important to remember pets don’t fare as well as some of their owners on these hot days. The SPCA Serving Erie County has issued the following hot weather pet safety tips:

Most pet owners realize that keeping pets in hot cars can kill them, but not many realize just how quickly the effects of heatstroke can set in for a dog or cat. And we’re not only referring to 80-degree days; animals suffer heatstroke even on much cooler days.

Heatstroke is a condition animals begin to suffer gradually, but it accelerates quickly. It’s easy for early signs of heatstroke to go unrecognized, and for the pet to be in an emergency situation within mere minutes.

On warm days, a vehicle acts like an oven. It holds the heat inside, and that heat becomes very intense even on days that don’t seem too warm. On an 85-degree day, even parked in the shade with the windows open, the temperature inside a car will climb to 104 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 119 degrees in 30 minutes. With the humidity we experience here in Buffalo, it may go even higher. Because a dog’s normal body temperature is 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, he can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage or death.

The typical signs of heatstroke are panting, high body temperature, dehydration, red mouth/eye membranes, rapid/irregular heart rate, diarrhea, weakness, looking dazed and coma. If your pet begins exhibiting any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Visit YourSPCA.org/SummerPetTips for additional information on heatstroke, what to do if you see an animal in a hot car and more.

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