If you’re feeling the sweltering heat, just think of how your pets feel! Pets depend on their owners for comforts like food, water, and air ventilation, therefore, for them to be subjected to the outdoor heat or a hot house when their owners are out is hard. How do you protect your pets during this heat wave?
According to the Humane Society of Central Oregon, “The best spot for your dog during warm weather is inside a safe, cool house.” The heat can be oppressive in a car, even with the windows open, or just generally outside where the heat can become too much for the fur of some animals. A good dose of water, sun protection, and perhaps even a wading pool for overweight or older dogs, for example, is a good way to keep the pets cool while braving the heat.
Some other tips are:
1. Exercise pets when the temperatures are cooler (ie. mornings and evenings). It’s better to keep the pets protected from melted tar, which can collect on their paw pads or in their fur without proper precautions.
2. Avoid leaving pets in truck beds and cars, even with the windows down. A car’s temperature can go up to 120 degrees in only a few minutes, which can easily result in heatstroke for your beloved pet. Truck beds are dangerous, as the metal can get overheated and injury from falling or debris could be detrimental to an animal. Being kept in shady areas is your pet’s best bet for keeping cool.
3. Make sure to have a good supply of fresh water and notice how your pet is feeling. According to the ASPCA, some of the warning signs of heat stroke in animals are “excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.” It’s important that you take note of any concerns and call your vet the moment you notice something’s wrong!
4. If your pet likes water, introduce them to swimming. Keep an eye on them, as not all dogs, for example, are good swimmers. Also, make sure to rinse them off afterward, especially if chlorine is involved, and don’t let them drink pool water (it might cause nausea).
5. If you keep your windows or doors open during the summer, make sure they’re screened in. Pets that like to explore (ie. cats) are highly at risk for “high-rise syndrome,” which occurs when pets fall out of windows or doors and are injured due to poor screening. If you want to protect your pets, make sure to keep your windows and doors pet-safe.
6. If needed, trim your pet’s fur. The recommended length by the ASPCA is one-inch-length, but never down to the skin. Plus, sunscreen or insect repellent labeled for animal use is a good plan, just in case the summer heat continues to get to them. If you have cats, brush their fur more often to prevent heat issues.
In general, just make sure your animals are comfortable during this heat wave – it could save their life!