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19
Jul

Veterinarians Warn: Brutal Weekend Heat Index can be Deadly for Pets

Angell Animal Medical Center Issues Tips to Help Pets and Owners Safely Navigate Dangerous Summertime Heat

BOSTON, July 19, 2019 – With nearly 100,000 animals treated each year, the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center is one of the busiest 24-7 emergency and specialty veterinary hospitals in the world—and summertime in New England can be one of the busiest seasons, especially when excessive heat waves bake the region and endanger pets.

“While we’ve had some hot days, this weekend’s forecast looks to be especially oppressive, and that makes us worry about the safety of all pets,” said Dr. Virginia Sinnott-Stutzman of Angell’s Emergency & Critical Care Unit.  “When the thermometer hits 100 degrees it becomes ever more important to protect our pets from heat related illness.”

Beware of Hot Cars!

Topping the list of concerns are hot cars. Pets should never be left unattended in cars, which can heat up to 110 degrees in 10 minutes on an 80-degree day even with the windows slightly open.  It is safer to leave our pets at home.

MSPCA-Angell Advocacy Director Kara Holmquist encourages all citizens to understand what steps to take if they see an animal in distress in a hot car.

“State law dictates very specific steps before intervening and the first thing we should do is call 911 and then set about trying to find the animal’s owner,” said Holmquist.  “As a last resort, and if the animal is in immediate danger, the law allows a person to break the window to remove the pet from the vehicle.”

Warm Temperatures Demand Caution

Dr. Sinnott-Stutzman maintains that all pets can safely navigate the weekend temperatures so long as their owners follow very simple recommendations.  Those include:

  • Scheduling a check-up. A springtime check-up will reveal any heart or respiratory issues that should be addressed before pets become more active in the summer months
  • Ensure ready access to shade, water and rest—parks with leafy trees and soft ground along with streams or ponds (in which dogs can cool off) offer wonderful recreational opportunities with plenty of opportunities to cool off
  • Exercise dogs in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower
  • Be especially cautious with dogs who have short noses, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, as these dogs are particularly vulnerable to overheating

Additional heat safety tips can be found here.

For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Services click here.

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