Contributed by Jin Park, 9 to 5 Pets
Summer is still here! With record setting temperatures popping up all over the state and country, it is important to keep your pets in mind during the hot summer months.
We researched the best heat safety tips from experts at ASPCA, Humane Society of the United States, and American Veterinary Medical Association to bring you 6 simple ways to keep your pets cool in the hot summer months:
1. Limit Where and When You Exercise Your Pet
Try to limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. If you are spending time outside, give your pet plenty of shade and fresh clean water. Be cautious and stay off hot surfaces such as asphalt because it can burn your pet’s paws. If it’s too hot for your feet, it is too hot for theirs.
2. NEVER Leave Your Pet Alone in a Parked Car
Even on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes and up 120 degrees in just 30 minutes exposing your pet to serious risks, illness or even death.
3. Watch the Humidity Levels
Did you know that humidity can affect your pet? Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association states that “animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels- very quickly.” Keep humidity levels in mind before planning an outing with your pet.
4. Know the Signs of a Heat Stroke
Some signs of heat stroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness. Animals that are very old, very young, overweight, not conditioned to prolonged exercise, have heart or respiratory disease, and breeds with flat faces such as Pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat strokes. If you suspect that your pet if suffering from a heat stroke, apply ice packs or cold towels to the head, neck and chest or run cool water over them. You should seek veterinary help immediately.
5. Keep Them Groomed
If you have a long haired dog, consider trimming or shaving your dog (after consulting with your vet) and apply sunscreen to their skin if they have a thin coat. For long haired cats, brushing more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
6. Give Them Cool Treats
Help cool your pet inside and out. Try quick and easy DIY Pupsicles for dogs- we have some fantastic frozen treat recipes on our 9 to 5 Pets Blog!
The summer months are filled with fun times for you and your pets. And so we hope these precautions help keep your pets cool and safe while you’re out there having fun together all summer long!