As much as we look forward to summer, there comes a time when the heat is too much to bear. When the weather is hot and you’re suffering, don’t forget about your animal friends. Not only can hot weather be uncomfortable for them, but it can be dangerous. Read more below on how to keep your pets safe during the hottest days of the year.
1. Never leave your pets in a parked car. Seriously, don’t do it. Temperatures inside a parked car rise quickly in a matter of minutes. Even at temperatures of 70° F, the inside temperature of your car could rise to well over 100° F, and cracking the windows might not be enough. When in doubt, keep your pet at home in the AC where you know they are safe.
2. Limit walks on hot days. Be sure to take your dog on walks in the early morning and in the evening when temperatures are lower. If you’re hot, imagine how your furry friend is feeling. Also, keep in mind that hot asphalt can burn a dogs paws almost instantaneously. Check the pavement by laying your hand against it and holding it there for 11 seconds. If it’s uncomfortable for you, then it is too hot for your dogs paws. For walks on warmer days, stick to the grass and shaded areas. And be sure to bring along extra water for your dog.
3. Beat the heat. If you have outdoor cats, or keep your dog outdoors, be sure that they have ample shade and constant access to water. If at all possible, bring pets inside when temperatures and heat index are high. Talk to your veterinarian to see if you might want to groom your long haired cat or dog for the summer to help keep them cool. Keep in mind that some breeds of dog handle heat better than others. A cold weather breed dog may benefit from some playtime in a kiddie pool or under sprinklers to help cool down.
4. Heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can come on quickly in dogs and be deadly if left untreated. Know the signs for heat exhaustion. Some signs include heavy panting, fatigue, dry or red gums, excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect your pet may have heat exhaustion, seek immediate veterinary care. The best treatment for heat exhaustion is prevention.
5. Consider outdoor dangers. Summer can bring with it extra risks for pets who spend large amounts of time outdoors. Be sure that your pets are up to date on all their shots, and have flea and tick prevention medication. Keep your pet away from your garage or anywhere there could be leaked antifreeze/coolant as this can be deadly. Also be mindful of plants that can be toxic to your pets. Read more about harmful plants here.
Follow these tips to be sure that you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable summer.