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Humidity enhances heat risk for pets

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(WSIL) -- You will want to pay close attention to any animals you have outside as the heat index climbs this weekend.

"We sweat from just about everywhere. They only sweat from their noses, their pawpads, any place where there's not fur."

Siri LeBaron, the director of development at Wright Way Rescue, says cats and dogs are at greater risk than us humans in high humidity heat.

"I think they even feel it more so, because they're using their respiratory systems to regulate their body temperatures, dogs especially. So they are trying to push moisture out of their lungs and that evaporation is key for them moving heat out of their body."

If you can't bring them inside, she says you must give them fresh water, shade at all times of the day, and attention to prevent heat stroke.

"Excessive panting, drooling, dizziness or disorientation, redness of the gums and the tongue, and if that happens call your veterinarian immediately."

Of course this advice applies to not only your pets but you as well. LeBaron says that's a good reminder that if the pavement is too hot for the palm of your hand, it's too hot for your pet's paws.

John Ross

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