SAN DIEGO — San Diego is getting a November heat wave, with temperatures in the mid-80s on the coast and into the 90s for inland areas Friday.
Rancho Coastal Humane Society is urging pet owners not to be lulled into a false sense of security just because the calendar says it’s fall. It’s hot out there and your critters can quickly get hurt. That’s especially true when they’re left in your car, even for a brief period of time.
“Temperatures inside closed vehicles can rise as much as 30 degrees in less than 5 minutes,” the agency wrote in a news release. “In the time it takes to go into a store and buy a loaf of bread, the temperature in your vehicle can go from comfortable to deadly.”
Humane Society spokesman John Van Zante shared a video that he recorded Thursday afternoon near the coast of Encinitas, where it was only about 75 degrees. He sat a thermometer on the dashboard and recorded it rising to 120 degrees in a couple of minutes, then continuing up to 128.
Heat exhaustion is tricky to recognize in dogs, experts explain, and even an attentive owner might miss the signs if they don’t know what to look for.
“Dogs don’t sweat. They pant. When they can’t pant fast enough it can cause heat exhaustion. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, rapid panting, and a reddening of the skin inside the ears,” Van Zante explained. “If this occurs, take your dog to a cool place and offer it sips (not drinks) of water. Dampen the dog with lukewarm water. This should cool it down.”
If your dog may be suffering from heat stroke, hose it down with cool (not cold) water and rush them to the nearest vet. When a pup’s internal temperature stays above 105 degrees, damage to major organs can occur.
The San Diego Humane Society adds the following tips:
- Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your animal. When away from home, carry a thermos with fresh water.
- In extremely hot weather, don’t leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. Your canine companion is much closer to the hot asphalt and their body can heat up quickly. Paws can also burn on hot asphalt or concrete. If you’re going to be on hot pavement, consider bringing along a towel or blanket for your dog to rest on, giving their pads a break from the sweltering heat. Be sure to allow for plenty of breaks and find shady spots to cool off.
- Dogs can get sunburned too — don’t forget to protect hairless and light-coated dogs with sunscreen.