MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Temperatures and humidity are on the rise and, for some parts of the country, that is bringing a major heat wave. Here in the Upper Peninsula, warmer weather means more time spent outdoors. But are you doing everything you can to protect your furry friend?
Dr. Kellie Holmstrom, Veterinarian and Owner of the Animal Medical Center of Marquette says that it’s important to keep a close eye on your pets while out in hot weather.
“They have shade and that they have water…water is very important. Just like us, you’d like to have a water bottle, your dog should have access to that. When you’re out hiking with them, again, be somewhat aware of how hot it is and you should bring an opportunity for them to drink,” explains Dr. Holmstrom.
Dr. Holmstrom recommends a collapsible bowl for easy travel or a water bottle specifically made for pets. Mares-Z-Doats or PetSmart in Marquette are likely to stock these items.
Other things to be aware of when outside with your pet is the length of their fur, cutting it too short could result in a sunburn, but having it too long could be quite hot for the dog.
Another big concern that not many pet owners know about it the heat of the pavement. Dr. Holmstrom recommends checking the ground with your hand first.
“If that pavement is hot for your hand don’t put your dog out walking on that hot pavement,” she says.
With any warm or hot weather, it is so important to not leave your pet in the car unattended for any reason; that includes with windows down or the A/C on.
If you see an animal in a car that seems to be in distress, call 911, even if you’re not sure.
Dr. Holmstrom agrees saying, “You want to be more proactive than wrong.”
Don’t forget other animals such as horses, pigs, and cats who can always be affected by hot weather. If you have a horse, don’t ride them too much says Dr. Holmstrom. Bring any outdoor animals inside or to a shaded area and have water available.
“If your home is hot, have a fan and again make sure they have water. You can also provide water options…put some ice in a water bowl. That will help keep them cool too,” says Dr. Holmstrom.
If you believe an animal of yours is experiencing heat stroke or any heat-related issue, Dr. Holmstrom says it’s best to gently cool them with water or cold, wet towels. It is not a good idea to submerge them in cold water.
If you are unsure of what to do, call a vet immediately. The Animal Medical Center of Marquette is open Monday through Saturday and on Sunday for emergencies.