Tips for keeping pets cool in Maricopa heat


Republished from a story by Michelle Trujillo back in 2017. Dr. Cordell has since passed away.

As summer temperatures migrate back to Maricopa, pet owners must take heed of the heat and the effect it has on their pet’s health.

Veterinarian Calvin Cordell said if not properly prevented, animals can suffer heat strokes and risk paying the ultimate price: death.

Cordell, who operates a mobile veterinary practice in Maricopa, said pet owners must always provide a consistent and accessible water source for pets to prevent heat-related emergencies

Additionally, he said pets should be kept indoors, if possible. However, if pet owners keep animals outdoors, Calvin recommends they provide adequate shade and water at all times. He added water should be kept in a container that cannot spill or empty.

Lastly, Cordell said animals should never be left in a sitting car, even when the vehicle is running and is air-conditioned.

He said pets left in hot cars during the summer can die within moments.

“It can get up to 180 degrees within 5 minutes in there,” Cordell said.

Pet owners who suspect their companion of overheating should look for symptoms that include excessive panting and a loss of coordination.

Calvin instructs concerned owners to give first aid to pets immediately because wait times at veterinarian offices can often be up to one hour, which is precious time to an animal suffering from heat stroke.

Car Temperature Chart [Jane Null]

Heat Stroke First Aid:

1.       Take pet’s temperature. “A normal temperature is between 100 degrees and 102.5 degrees,” Cordell said. However, an animal is in danger if its temperature ranges from 104 degrees to 105 degrees and above.

2.       Put your pet in a tub of cool water and call a veterinarian. Cordell reminds pet owners to hold onto the animal, so it does not drown while they use the phone to make an appointment.

3.       Take pet to the veterinarian once its temperature is down to 100 degrees for professional, medical care. If a pet is saved from heatstroke, however, its medical complications may just begin. Cordell said some can be left with brain damage, so prevention is key.

Celebrity vet Dr. Ernie Ward posted the following popular video showing the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car, even with the windows cracked.