Triple digits hurting pets: How to avoid heat stroke and burns


If you own an animal, local veterinarians are urging you to be aware of the effects of intense heat on your pet.

Temperatures in central Mississippi are now in the triple digits- something that hasn’t happened since 2015.

Doctors say if it’s too hot for you, it’s definitely too hot for them, especially since they don’t have the ability to sweat.

“If it’s burning you, it’s going to burn the dog so that’s one good way to put it, if you can’t put your hand on it or put your bare foot on it, it’s the same for the dogs,” Dr. Andres Gibbs of Byram said.

Pets can have heat stroke and get burned just as people can.

Things to keep in mind are adequate shade, frequent water refills and not walking them on hot pavement or leaving them in cars.

 “… in the car with the cars windows down, the heat can still dissipate in there and get really, really hot, so even with the windows down [or cracked], if it’s 80 outside, it’s almost over 100 inside your car.”

Also, Gibbs said if your dog is in a dog house outside, but the house is not under shade, the heat can still hurt it.

Animals at the Mississippi Animal Rescue League shelter found themselves in trouble Tuesday, amid these high temps, when the facility A/C shut off.

MARL director said the threat was real when the compressors went out, but the problem was repaired by late Tuesday night, setting them back however, around $3,500 to $4,000.

In the event that preventative measures to protect your pet fail in the heat and you think your dog is overheated, there are things you can do.

Gibbs said there are key things to watch for- heat stroke in dogs is indicated excessive panting, thick saliva, red gums, weakness, diarrhea and vomiting.

He says do not spray your dog down with cold, because this could cause fatal shock.

Rather, apply cold and wet compresses to the pads of their feet, lips, face and ears, as well as laying a wet towel over their back and of course, see a veterinarian.

So remember, if it hurts you or makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s the same on your pet.

For anyone who may want to help MARL, after their recent large, life-saving expense on the A/C, visit their website or Facebook page to donate.

Those donations are tax-deductible.

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