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Pet Safety Guide: Keeping Your Pets Safe Around Fireworks in Jacksonville, FL

How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs? Intracoastal West Veterinarian Near You Has the Answers!

Essential Tips for a Stress-Free Fireworks Season for Your Beloved Pets


Hey there, Jacksonville, FL pet parents! With the scorching summer temperatures upon us, it's crucial to understand how hot is too hot for our furry friends. Here are some essential tips from your trusted experts at Intracoastal West Veterinarian Hospital to ensure your dogs stay safe and comfortable:

When is it Too Hot to Walk Dogs? In Jacksonville, FL, the average summer temperature reaches around 90 degrees. However, keep in mind that asphalt can become 40 to 60 degrees hotter than the surrounding temperature! To protect your dog's paws, avoid walking them in the middle of the day when the asphalt can burn. Look for signs of discomfort such as limping or unusual walking.


🌡️ Signs of Heatstroke: While there's no specific outside temperature threshold, dogs can exhibit distress when their body temperatures become uncomfortable. Look out for heavy panting, excessive thirst, and lack of coordination. If you notice these signs, take action promptly.


🚫 Leaving Dogs Outside: Although there are no specific laws against leaving dogs outside in Florida, it's crucial to be aware of what temperature is too hot for dogs. Dogs have an average body temperature of 100 to 103 degrees, and exposing them to high temperatures can lead to a dangerous rise in body heat.


🏡 Outdoor Time Guidelines: If your dog needs to be outside in warm weather, ensure it's for short periods only. Provide plenty of shade, fresh water, and a way for them to access indoors. If your dog stays indoors during the day, keep the air conditioning on to maintain a comfortable temperature and prevent issues caused by excessive heat.


🚗 Leaving Dogs in Cars: Under no circumstances should you leave your dog in a car, even for a quick errand. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise rapidly, with an increase of almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes and up to 30 degrees in 20 minutes! Protect your pets by never leaving them alone in a car.


⚖️ Florida Laws on Leaving Dogs in Cars: Florida has enacted a good Samaritan law that allows individuals to break a car's windows to rescue a pet in danger. Those acting reasonably to save pets from potentially hazardous situations are protected from civil prosecution.


🔥 Dogs Prone to Heatstroke: All dogs are at risk, especially given the warm Florida climate. However, older dogs, those unaccustomed to exercise, overweight dogs, and those with heart or respiratory issues are more vulnerable. Breeds with short muzzles, such as boxers and shih tzus, may have difficulty breathing in hot weather.


❄️ Cooling Measures: If your dog becomes too hot, move them quickly to a shaded area or an air-conditioned room. Offer cool water to drink or let them lick ice cubes. Apply cold towels to their head and neck, and you can run cool water over them (avoid cold water to prevent shocking their system). Contact your local veterinarian for further guidance and bring your dog in if necessary.


☀️ Stay Cool and Safe: During summer, it's crucial to exercise caution and prioritize your dogs' well-being. If you're unsure about the appropriate temperature for dogs outside, simply consider how you would feel on a warm, humid North Florida day. Remember, dogs don't sweat like humans, so keep them cool by taking early morning walks, providing ample water, and never leaving them in cars. Let's beat the heat together!


For any questions or concerns, reach out to our dedicated team at Intracoastal West Veterinarian. We're here to support you

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