Tips to keep your pet cool while waiting for power

MIAMI (WSVN) - Many across South Florida are still without power, leaving pets at risk of suffering heat stroke.

There are several ways to help protect your pets while waiting for the power to be restored.

Dr. Emily Abraham has received several four-legged patients at Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami that have been stricken with heat-related issues.

“Most commonly they came in for heat strokes or hypothermia where their temperature is higher than they’re able to regulate,” Abraham said.

When the power is out after a hurricane like Irma, we all get hot, including our pets.

Veterinarians like Abraham said heat stroke is as serious for animals as it is for humans. “Literally, they can bleed internally if they aren’t cooled down properly,” she said.

Dogs are more likely to get heat stroke than cats, but both have similar symptoms like vomiting, lethargy and excessive panting. “Any cat that is panting is not normal, and they need oxygen immediately,” Abraham said.

Excessive panting in short-nosed breeds like bulldogs is also something to watch for.

“If they notice they’re panting excessively, that their color is not nice and pink,” she said, “maybe they’re turning a little bit blue in color, their tongue, that would also be a sign.”

One way to help your pet cool down is with wet towels. Cover their back, around their neck, head and groin area with towels that were dipped in cool water and an ice pack, but only if it’s covered with a towel.

“Don’t try to put any water near their face,” Abraham said, “just cool down, work on the body.”

You can also cool them down by putting a little alcohol on their paw pads and inside their ears.

If you’re outside cleaning up, make sure that your pet is not out in the sun.

If you’re worried your pet is showing symptoms of heat stroke, get them to the vet as quickly as possible. “They need immediate, immediate medical care,” Abraham said.

When your pets are inside, it’s always better to keep them on tiled floors, which is colder than carpet.

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