NEW YORK—As the summer starts in the city, pets also feel the heat. Pet owners have found various ways of helping their pets find some refreshing cool.
A small dog water park was set up at Hudson River Park in Manhattan on Saturday where dogs splashed around in pools and small tubs of water.
Steve Zorowitz, out at Madison Square Park in midafternoon with his two dogs, a Schnoodle named Candy, and a Cavachon named Yoyo, said he makes sure they both take a good drink before leaving the house. He said he plays around with the dogs, but both are easy going.
“They are not big runners around, so they sit in the shade with me,” Zorowitz said.
Tanya Johnson, who was at the Madison Square Park dog run with her Shih Tzu, Titus, said she usually waits for it to get cooler before taking her dog out.
“I mostly keep him in the air conditioning until it gets cooler,” Johnson said.
Already, some veterinarians are reporting seeing animals with heatstroke, and are reminding the public that pets are sensitive to heat. “It’s less than a week into summer and we’ve already seen multiple cases of heatstroke at several of our locations,” said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners, in a press release.
There are clear signs of heatstroke, which is potentially fatal. If a pet looks lethargic, is panting uncontrollably, or collapses, you should take it to see a veterinarian. According to the press release, other signs include diarrhea and dark red gums.
Many of the ways to keep animals cool are different from humans. The exception is a nice air conditioned room. Doctors from BluePearl gave a few tips.
If a pet is overheated, spray it down with room temperature water. They warn against using ice water, since it decreases blood flow under the skin and ends up trapping the heat, potentially making heat exhaustion even worse.
When it’s hot out, try to keep pets from over-exerting themselves. With outdoor activities, in particular, Shaw recommends avoiding the midday sun, and instead taking pets out early in the morning or late in the day.
Keep liquid intake to water—that means no sports drinks with electrolytes. Sports drinks can actually make pets sick.