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Tips on how to keep your family and pets safe in the Florida heat

Posted at 2:44 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 14:44:23-04

The feel-like highs for Southwest Florida on Thursday is projected to reach over 100 degrees in places, but with a heat index thermometer it can become much hotter on the asphalt, which can pose a risk for people outside.

Dr. William Baker, a California physician, says heat stroke can be deadly in extreme heat, especially the elderly community who are prone to further complications. ‘There are three different manifestations of heat illness,” said Baker. “There are heat cramps which is simply fatigue, weakness, exhaustion, muscle cramps. Heat exhaustion, which is the second phase of that which there is a lack of solid-fluid inside the body.

The last phase is, heat stroke, which can be deadly in extreme heat. The extreme heat is not only dangerous for individuals but just as deadly towards our four-legged friends.

Julie Johnson, executive director, for Bakersfield SPCA says heat stroke is a huge issue that their veterinarians see each year and it is completely preventable just by taking these steps to ensure that they are safe. “If you are able to see their paw prints on the sidewalk while they walk you got to call a vet immediately because that is a sign of heat stroke,” said Johnson. “It is very important that your pets have plenty of cool water, shade and a way to get out of that heat.”

One Washington veterinary hospital shared these Facebook photos showing the dangers of hot pavement on dog paws.

Not providing proper animal care is considered animal cruelty in the court of law and you could be fined.

Johnson says the best time to walk your dog in conditions like these is early in the morning or later at night.

Another way to look out for heat complications is to be mindful of bodily fluids which will tell you what your body needs. “If you are working in the heat and your urine is dark you don’t have enough fluids,” Baker said. “For athletes and those working out regularly, urine should be light yellow or clear.”

Baker also wants to remind the community to not just drink water but also sports drinks to obtain the necessary electrolytes, in order to prevent seizures.